Twenty-two years ago police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge, dressed his five-year-old daughter in police camouflage for a school fun day. He had no idea she would be following in his crime-busting footsteps.

Constable Mbali Mdunge, who turned 27 yesterday, said she was thankful to have a father like Vincent. “I look up to my father as he’s always been there when we need him. He goes the extra mile for our family and provided us with the best education,” Mbali said.

Vincent said he didn’t stand in his daughter’s way when the teenager told him of her intention to join the SAPS.

“If anything I had to encourage her because I felt she could do anything and it runs in the family.”

Despite the dangers that come with the job, Vincent said he was reassured by the knowledge that his daughter was equipped to deal with the most trying of circumstances.

“When she told me that she wanted to join the police I sat her down and spoke to her about my experience.

“I know the ins and outs and the expectations. I didn’t have to worry because she is self-sufficient, respectful and mature,” Vincent said.

Mbali said she dreamt of taking over from her father one day, or maybe even becoming the national police commissioner.

Vincent said he believed Mbali could do it. “She’s dynamic, nothing will stop her. I will inspire her to study further through the internal structures and, perhaps, coach her as I believe she has immense leadership abilities.”

And what about plans for Father’s Day on Sunday? “We will do lunch and I will take him out somewhere, but his gift will be a surprise,” said a smiling Mbali. - Daily News