Eastern Cape SAPS elated by the success of the inaugural SAPS Men’s Conference

EAST LONDON – In the words of Father of the Democratic South Africa, former President Mandela, “It all seem impossible until it’s done.”

Those words were re-lived when three days of fruitful discussion, deliberation and speeches at the inaugural Men’s Conference came to an end. All the delegates came dressed and culturally appropriate, in traditional regalia as today’s dressing theme- cultural attire.

Sergeant Majola Nkohli recalled yesterday’s proceedings with meticulous precision recalling every utterances and retracing all the steps of the previous day. Internal and external stakeholders shared messages pledging support to the conference and its objectives.

All the senior management and delegates arrived in great anticipation for the eloquent, highly experienced and dignity commanding guest of honour-Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima who is a Chairperson of Moral Regeneration Movement in the province. He was invited to present the keynote speech, and he did it without fail but exceeded all expectations.

Messages of support were from CPF, Popcru, Sanlam, Polmed, Gems. Sanlam were shared partners in endorsing the conference and its relevance.

Rev Mziyanda Noqayi-Mdantsane Cluster Community Police Forum (CPF) Chairperson sharing a message of support on behalf of CPF said, “It cannot be business as usual when our police officials are alleged to be perpetrators of gender based crimes.

He thanked SAPS senior management for ensuring the realisation of this initiative aimed to break the silence and engage men on a number of contentious issue affecting the society-gender based violence.

“I am definitely sure that this conference will help find the solutions to this problem. I wish that there can be expeditious process of investigations, trials and sanctions for acts of violence against women to avoid an environment of impunity and low self confidence in the justice system. Otherwise, if not that impunity will send a message to society that violence against women by men is not only tolerated, but accepted.”

He further requested all stakeholders to work together to ensure that the promise of ensuring that women are not at risk of being killed especially by police who are supposed to protect them, just because they are women, is realised. “Let us work for a better and more peaceful South Africa for all,” he concluded.

Mr Imanathi Hoza representing Popcru said, “We would like to thank the effort taken in organising this conference through the office of Provincial Commissioner. As Popcru we want to thank this gathering and all of the men in attendance. We also want to thank the speakers who touched on relevant issues. We hope that those who attended will share the message with our members and community.”

He humbly appealed and requested members to seek help from the office of Employee Health and Wellness. “Our members think that if they report their issue to EHW, it will be known by everyone. That is not the case,” he advised.

“We cannot allow abuse from senior members and also non-commissioned members. We welcome this initiative and all who ensured this conference is a success. We support the management in the fight against gender based violence,” he said.

Mr Saun Albert representing Polmed said there are four pillars of a man’s heart that suggests that a man is a King, warrior mentor and friend. “If all these pillars are balanced they will lead to tranquillity in our marriages. The problem facing men and society is when one of these pillars collapse.”

“As Polmed we are humbled to see this successful conference. We are encouraged to see discussions about challenges facing men as society expect us to protect, uphold the law and bring perpetrators to book. We must be agents of change. When life seem to take us down let us not die in silence. Let us know support is available. For us to be the men were want to be, let us ensure that these pillars are balanced. As warriors we have to protect and mentors we must share knowledge. As mentors we must be caring. We believe,” he added.

Snazo Mtongana representing GEMS said, “Today when we came, were amazed to see such a colorful event. We want to offer a word of support and we wish you well in your endeavours.”

The guest speaker -Chairperson of Eastern Cape Moral Regeneration Movement -Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima arrived to every delegates’ excitement and was also equally impressed to see police dressed culturally appropriate. All men stood up to salute the Royal son of Tembu Kingdom as traditional protocol prescribed.

Provincial Men For Change Champion- Lt Col Kilimane delivering his reply saying to Lt Gen Ntshinga, “When this conference and idea came, it was only a dream but your arrival made it a reality. All the men here are committed. All levels in different clusters are present today and they commit to go back to do social crime prevention.”

He said from day one, men listened as well as day 2 and today before they leave they will take all the information disseminated here and apply it. “After this conference the negative cases under discipline management will be no more. He also wished Major General Swart a happy birthday saying the success if this conference should serve as a present to him as is also close to retirement. “Stress no more General, we commit to act as changed men,” said the Provincial Champion.

He further committed on behalf of all delegates to working hard to decrease crime by 30% in our province. “This will result in 30% decrease in work for NPA and Correctional Services,” he said as he concluded.

Nkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima touched on the role of a man in society and what used to be expected role to be played by real men in society, something that seems to be neglected by ‘men’ today.

He drew a distinction between men who have undergone circumcision but seem to lack the respect, manners, cultural training, guidance and behavior of a man who has passed this important cultural milestone in a man’s life. Pointing to the current wave of unprecedented gender based violence in media and marches nationally, he noted this calamity with regret and lambasted the absence of men in this national cry by women and children.

“What surprise me is that these marches are women only and leave me wondering, where are the men. Why is their voice missing in this national cry,” asked the Inkosi in awe and disappointment.

He said he knows that being a police officer is a daunting task met with many challenges. He emphasized the importance of self-restraint and exercising self-control for men.

He said a man must never take what he has not been given consent to take. He also drew the audience to a historical time whereby whenever two men were assaulting each other or involved in a fight, when a woman came and put a blanket over the fallen man, the aggressor will exercise self-restraint, constrain his anger and discontinued the assault.

He concluded by inviting men to join in the huge task on the shoulders of the Moral Regeneration Movement. “Please join us in our task as this is not a political party nor need joining fees.”

He further questioned the absence of men in critical cultural responsibilities like initiation. “Where are the men when children die in the initiation school especially in the Eastern Cape Province?

Maj Gen Kunene presented Inkosi Ngangomhlaba Matanzima a small gift as a token of appreciation after delivery of a moving speech signalling the end of SAPS Men’s Conference 2019. Three lucky winners also received hampers courtesy of Old Mutual.

Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Ntshinga thanked all role players, supporters, sponsors, organisers and delegates for the role in the success of the conference.

Source: South African Police Service