This article first appeared in the 27 June 2022 edition of the Cape Argus newspaper.
Cape Town - Eight years after Nyanga police station commander Vuyisile Ncata had served the community, the residents bid farewell to him on the weekend as he is leaving the cop shop.
Ncata, who has worked in the area since 2014, is expected to start in his new position in the Eastern Cape (Gqeberha) after he was recently promoted to a major-general.
Speaking during his send-off on Saturday, Ncata said when he arrived in the area, the relationship between the police and the community was at its lowest. He said there was no trust between the station and the community was not satisfied with the services they were receiving and how their cases were handled.
Internally, Ncata said the police station had a severe shortage of resources. He said police members lacked motivation, with no discipline or a proper monitoring and evaluation performance system put in place to monitor their performance.
Ncata said he started by mobilising community structures that would support police efforts in fighting crime.
He said consequently communication was improved between the community, CPF, and police which gave birth to accredited community crime-fighting structures.
Ncata said one of the significant achievements was when they managed to remove Nyanga as the “murder capital”, which he said was synonymous with the area for years.
Nyanga is currently at number 21 of the top 30 murder police stations in the country.
“As police, we would never achieve anything without the involvement of the community. They never minced their words when they told me that they do not want Nyanga to be the murder capital.
“Nyanga was abandoned for the longest time and needed someone that would dedicate his time and effort with the help of the community in turning things around,” he said.
Nyanga policing forum cluster chairperson Martin Makhasi said Ncata was instrumental in championing social crime prevention projects and was a true embodiment of a public servant.
“He hated and could not tolerate corrupt cops and as a result not less than eight cops were dismissed or disciplined during his tenure for cases ranging from armed robbery, the illegal release of inmates, and general unbecoming behaviour by the police members,” he said.
Makhasi said Ncata was hands-on in ensuring that the community received proper service delivery.
“The Nyanga area cluster and the provincial police have lost a true and dedicated public servant to whom policing was not a just a job but a service.
“The incoming commander has big shoes to fill. However, he must understand that there can only be one Vuyisile Ncata and that safety issues in the area remain a challenge," Makhasi said.