After 39 years of service with the South African Police Service (SAPS), Lieutenant General Elias Mawela is set to hang up his boots.
Retiring in the position of provincial commissioner in Gauteng, Mawela began his journey as a student constable in 1984.
National police spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said Mawela had uninterrupted, loyal and dedicated service with the SAPS.
Speaking more to his illustrious career, Mathe said soon after joining the service in 1984, Mawela began serving in the Mamelodi policing precinct.
“He then worked his way up in the ranks to the level of Lieutenant General in 2011,” Mathe said.
“He has served in a number of senior roles and capacities, including that of deputy area commissioner of Pretoria, Component Head: Border policing, divisional commissioner: Operational Response Services(ORS) and Natjoints chairperson.”
In the last five years, Mawela served as a provincial commissioner.
Mathe said the job is a five-year contract and his term of office ends on Wednesday.
The national commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola praised Mawela for being a great operator and an epitome of a servant leader.
“He fostered strong relations with communities and various key stakeholders in the fight against crime which ultimately gave birth to his brain child ‘O Kae Moloa’.”
The operation saw officers embarked on high density operations to trace wanted suspects, confiscate illegal goods and recover illegal and stolen vehicles and firearms.
“This is a commander who has left an indelible footprint as an operator in all units, stations and components he has led. A true operator, a man of action, to him it didn’t matter where he was deployed to, he served the people of South Africa for the past four decades with sheer diligence and commitment.”
Mathe said the SAPS has already embarked on a recruitment process to fill the vacancy.