Man rewarded for act of sheer bravery
A LIMPOPO man has earned a handsome cash incentive for a display of bravery in which he saved the lives of two police officers.
Sipho Mogale Sebela, 23, a bricklayer from Burgersdorp outside Tzaneen, was at the right place at the right time on Monday morning when a police van carrying dangerous criminals collided head-on with a speeding VW Golf GTI on the Tzaneen-Lydenburg road.
The police van overturned and rolled several times with a huge amount of smoke coming from the engine.
Sebela took matters on himself to free the trapped and injured officers from the wreck before it could explode.
In the process of saving the lives of the police officers, Sebela saw a police firearm lying loose and took it for safe-keeping.
When he went to rescue those in the back of the vehicle, Sebela realised they were criminals who were not handcuffed.
He approached the injured police officer, took the handcuffs, cuffed the criminals and ordered them to sit down.
When members of the nearby police station arrived on the scene, Sebela handed the firearm to them and explained what had happened.
Police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Ronel Otto said Sebela not only got R4,000 from Tzaneen cluster commander Major-General Maggie Mathebula, but will also get a goodly amount of money from provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Simon Mpembe.
"As SAPS we have resolved to reward Sebela for his heroism in saving the lives of our colleagues," Otto said.
She said the criminals were being taken to the Ritavi and Naphuno magistrate's courts for their final appearances in multiple murder cases and other violent crimes.
"It was likely that the criminals would have gone for the police firearm and killed the members before vanishing into thin air," Otto said.
Sebela said when he was helping at the scene of the accident, he had only one goal in mind - to save lives.
"I was brave enough to instruct the criminals to stay there until the police arrived and it was only a few minutes later that the reality sank in. The risk I took now scares me," Sebela said.
Otto said neither the police officers nor the escorted criminals had sustained any serious injuries and were released from hospital after medical treatment.
She said a further monetary incentive was on the cards for Sebela. - email@example.com