Officer Thulisile Mazibuko describes herself as a giant. The two-metre tall officer says her height and weight are intimidating. Pictures: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA).
Johannesburg - Don't mess with me. These are the words of Thulisile Mazibuko, a Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer, who stands at just over two metres tall.

She describes herself as a “giant”, and rides bikes on the freeways for the JMPD special patrols.

Mazibuko is well-known in the force and often other officers call on her to help with arrests.

“I am so tall that I stand way above most motorists who get caught. Very few give me problems when I try to arrest them, even the drunk and aggressive ones. I always get my own way,” she says.

Mazibuko, who started riding bikes for the JMPD in 2003, says she loves the motorbikes.

“We started with 20 females on the motorbike squad, but I am the only one left. The others found bikes too big to handle. Now I can out-ride any officer on a bike,” she adds.

Joburg Metro Police Department's officer Thulisile Mazibuko heads the metro's freeway patrol motorbike squad. She's been on the bike since 2003.

Her only injury has been a small fall from a bike during which she broke her wrist.

The mother of two has worked in several Joburg metro departments through the years, including internal affairs, but loves her job as a freeway patrol officer.

“I am a bit of a daredevil. I love the adrenalin rush.”

She has had to contend daily with male motorists, taxi drivers and motorists hurling insults at her but says she is “very strict”.

“I think I command respect because of my size - I am a giant and I am not easily intimidated. I get used to the insults and don’t let them get to me.”

Mazibuko was born and bred in Meadowlands, Soweto. Her father was a police officer. When she joined the metro police, her mom was not happy, “but the family is now used to it”.

She says her two boys, aged 15 and 11, are proud of her and often boast about her to their friends.

“But I don’t want them to follow in my footsteps - it is hard work out there,” she said.

The Star

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