There is a new sheriff in town and perpetrators of gender-based violence are put on notice.
Brigadier Zuziwe Magqashela, the new commander at the Queenstown police station, says top of her list is reduction in gender-based crimes.
“Being a female station commander, the position is exciting for me because my intention is to address gender-based violence. Crimes against women and children are a priority for SAPS. There are husbands and boyfriends who abuse their partners. We need to book those perpetrators and eradicate these crimes,” she said.
Magqashela has been at the helm since last month, but has been with SAPS since 2008 when she joined as an auditor. She has a national diploma in auditing, a Baccalaureus Technologies and Bachelor of Accounting Science, receiving her police basic lateral training in 2016.
Prior to moving to Komani she was in Pretoria, working for the provincial inspectorate office. She said she hoped to use her experience in evaluation and compliance to tackle complaints against the station, something she said was high in Komani.
“One of the things I picked up when I got here was that there were many complaints against police. This is something I will be looking into.
“I joined as an auditor in supply chain and then moved to Pretoria in 2011, working in management intervention. We had about 30 stations under our purview dealing with compliance and complaints against police. It was this experience that the provincial officer felt I could bring here.”
Another issue Magqashela said she will look into is the high rate of robbery and asked citizens to work hand-in-hand with the station.
“We also have high numbers of business robberies and housebreakings. I am begging people, we need to work together. It is important for people to provide information about perpetrators. We will book them while ensuring their confidentiality. I also request people not to buy stolen goods. If they see someone selling stolen goods, they must report them.
“We have a shortage of resources and it is important to work with people, the CPF and other stakeholders.”
In the interim, Magqashela said they were concerned with non-compliance of Covid-19 regulations in Komani.
“We have problems with compliance, even in level four, and are conducting awareness campaigns. We want people to note that social distance, wearing of masks and basic sanitation is important. We also have roadblocks to ensure people remain home and only come to town when absolutely necessary.”