Black, a tracker dog at the SAPS K9 Unit. Picture: SAPS
Black, a tracker dog at the SAPS K9 Unit. Picture: SAPS

Eastern Cape SAPS 'top dog' succumbs to terminal illness

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Nov 3, 2020

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HUMANSDORP: Tributes have poured in on social media for Black, an SAPS K9, who succumbed to his illness recently. Black was in the care of his handler, Warrant Officer Maurice Konzani, at the time of his death. The pair had shared a fantastic career together. The dog suffered from a heart condition.

Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said Black was trained as a tracker dog, along with this siblings, at the SAPS Training Institution in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, in 2011. At the time, Black was just 1 year old.

Govender said Black then resumed his duties as a tracker dog at the Humansdorp K9 Unit in the Eastern Cape.

"From his early days, this spirited K9 presented a promising career in tracking down criminals. He always made his handler and the SAPS proud. He established himself as one of the top tracker dogs in the SAPS K9 Unit and assisted in solving cases of stock theft and house-breaking," Govender said.

Govender added that Black played a vital role in retrieving hidden goods and bodies and identifying crime scenes.

Warrant Officer Maurice Konzani with Black Picture: Supplied

"In 2012, his versatile skills again shone as he found a woman who was lost in the Storm's River where he assisted the search and rescue team. She was alive. In 2013, a farm owner in the Fort Beaufort area had reported a stock theft case. The enthusiastic Black, who was always ready to utilise his skills, tracked down five stock thieves. The farmer commended the amazing work of Black in a letter to the EC provincial head office and added that his confidence in the SAPS was restored as he had previously suffered immense stock losses," she said.

A year later, Black and WO Konzani were awarded commendations when they were nominated as the Eastern Cape’s top achievers in the crime prevention category and were first runners-up in the SAPS national awards ceremony which was held in Pretoria.

When Black was diagnosed with a heart condition, Konzani took him home.

"Black had written his own story on the SAPS K9 wall of remembrance. He flew the SAPS K9 tracker dog flag high during his years of service. I salute this gallant warrior who always honoured his calling. I will forever remember my partner as a courageous fighter. Rest in peace my friend," Konzani said.

Karin Vosloo: “RIP precious Black, condolences to W/O Konzani, the void they leave behind, never goes away.”

Des Pillay: “It’s your time now to chase rabbits in the sky, rest well loyal member of SAPS. Condolences to W/O Konzani.”

Margaret Kiely: “What a magnificent dog. I can only imagine how you all feel – a huge void left behind. Deepest sympathy to W/O Konzani.”

Cristina Swart: “RIP Black, you dogs are amazing.”


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