Station Commander bade farewell

Major General Sethenya Nxamagele and Lt Colonel Theresa Pillay with officers and SAPS members.

The Ugu Cluster Commander, Major General Sethenya Nxamagele, delivered a very emotionally packed address at the retirement function of the Msinsini SAPS Station Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Pillay on Wednesday, March 28, at the Umthunzi Hotel and Conference Centre in Umtentweni. Officers and members from the Cluster Commander’s office as well as from the various police stations and units within the cluster were in attendance.

Proceedings commenced with a welcome address by the Port Shepstone Vispol Commander, Colonel Praga Naicker, which was followed by an opening prayer. The Scottburgh SAPS Station Commander and Programme Director, Colonel Ralph Ruiters, introduced the speakers at the podium.

An emotional “down memory lane” slideshow was presented, depicting Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Pillay’s life since her childhood, her early days in the South African Police Service until her remarkable transformation from a shy young woman metamorphosing into a confident and assertive senior police officer in the SAPS. Mrs Pillay ventured into a male-dominated field and enlisted in the SAPS in 1982, to become the first Indian woman to be stationed at the Umzinto police station.

She studied and rose up through the ranks to become the first female Station Commander at that very station, with the rank of Superintendent on January 1, 2000. She took up her position as Station Commander of the Msinsini Police Station in May 2009, a position she occupied until her retirement at the end of March, 2018. General Nxamagele spoke at length on the role Lt Colonel Pillay played as the Ugu Cluster Women’s Network Champion.

Over the years, under her leadership, the Women’s Network had embarked on a number of community upliftment projects, has excelled in various competitions at provincial and national level and, most importantly, has empowered the women in the Ugu Cluster. The Women’s Network has, inter alia, hosted and spearheaded a number of “prayer against crime” and crime awareness campaigns throughout the Ugu Cluster. During her farewell speech, Lieutenant Colonel Pillay expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the South African Police Service for 36 wonderful, enriching and memorable years of employment and motivated her colleagues to be loyal and dedicated to the Service.

She momentarily allowed her emotions to get the better of her, but quickly regained her composure to complete her address and bid farewell to her SAPS family.

Colonel Alan Grainger proposed a toast while the Deputy Ugu Cluster Commander, Brigadier brought the function to a close with everyone thereafter partaking of a meal and a “making memories” photo session with Lieutenant Colonel Theresa Pillay.

  AUTHOR
Captain Vincent Pandarum - SAPS, Ugu Cluster

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