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KwaZulu-Natal - Condolences and praise for KZN’s deputy police commissioner, Major-General Bongani Ntanjana, 59, who died suddenly at the weekend, poured in on Monday with his colleagues describing him as a warm, committed policeman whose death left a void in KZN crime fighting.
Provincial Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen said he was “shocked and saddened” by Ntanjana’s death.
“I have known him for more than 20 years and sat next to him at every management meeting where we always shared a joke,” he said.
Booysen said Ntanjana had nicknamed him “Bhanoyi” (aeroplane) because, in the 1990s, he drove so fast, as if he was driving an aeroplane, when they worked together.
Former police commissioner Bheki Cele heaped praise on Ntanjana, saying he was well respected.
“I knew him when he was still a [lower-ranked] policeman. He was always open to be spoken to and he will be missed,” said Cele.
Safety MEC Willies Mchunu described his death as “a great loss to the police force”.
“He was an outstanding policeman who understood that fighting crime is not be an overnight exercise,” he said.
Premier Zweli Mkhize said: “I want to express our deepest sympathy to the Ntanjana family. You are in our prayers during this difficult period.”
Ntanjana was taken to the eThekwini Hospital and Heart Centre after developing high blood pressure-related problems on Sunday.
He died less than an hour after arriving at the hospital.
Ntanjana was in the police force for more than 30 years and served as deputy police commissioner for 15 years.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge described him as a “father figure, a noble man and an icon to young policemen”.
Funeral arrangements are under way.
Ntanjana leaves his wife and four children.