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By Vukosi Maluleke

Digital Journalist

‘Hard work pays’: Rosemary Ndlovu investigator gets top job

The ninth National Excellence Awards took place on Friday.

Rosemary Ndlovu investigator Sergeant Keshi Mabunda has been awarded the Police Minister’s Special Award – and promoted to captain.

The ninth South African Police Service (Saps) National Excellence Awards took place on Friday in Midrand.

Mabunda was recognised for his investigation of serial insurance killer Rosemary Ndlovu, which led to a successful arrest.

READ MORE: Insurance killer Rosemary Ndlovu caught with cellphone behind bars

The brave officer was thrilled at receiving the award.

“I’m overwhelmed, but this is great motivation for me and other members as well – so hard work pays,” he said.

Nandipha & Bester saga

Another notable award went to an unnamed constable in the Free State whose bravery led to the arrest of Dr. Nandipha Magudumana and Thabo Bester.

The officer rang the alarm, alerting SAPS Organised Crime Investigations (SECI) about a woman who had been repeatedly collecting dead bodies in Bloemfontein – ultimately leading to the high profile arrest.

The officer whose identity remains anonymous for security reasons, has received the Police Minister’s Special Award and promoted to Warrant Officer.

ALSO READ: Thabo Bester and Dr. Nandipha Magudumana arrested in Tanzania

High risk, high rewards

Meanwhile Lieutenant Colonel JL Santi received the High Risk Member of the Year Award.

As the Operational Commander of Parkroad Tactical Response Team (TRT) in the Free State, Santi’s leadership resulted in 141 arrests as well as the seizure of counterfeit money amounting to over R800 000 during the 2022/23 financial year.

ALSO READ: Rolex watches among items worth R29m ‘stolen’ from Thabo Bester during his arrest


Lieutenant Colonel J Coetzer received this year’s National Commissioner’s Special Award for his role in taking down a gang which was responsible for cash-in-transit (CIT) heists in Makhado, Limpopo last year.

He was part of an operation which resulted in 19 suspects being shot and killed.

During the shootout, Coetzer was shot in the leg and was later amputated following medical intervention.

ALSO READ: Video: Death toll in Limpopo CIT shootout climbs to 19

Station of the Year

Meanwhile, SAPS Port Nolloth was named this year’s station of the year – also recognised as Northern Cape’s top performing station.

“The station received a remarkable 100% rating in the crime prevention environment, making it the best performing station in crime prevention in the province and across the country,” SAPS said in statement.

ALSO READ: People show they can celebrate responsibly – Saps

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