The Johannesburg Metro police department has lauded two of its officers who received awards for heroism and innovation from the national Department of Transport.
Sergeant Greshwel Felix, 31, received an award for saving a colleague who attempted to commit suicide in Tshiawelo, Soweto, last year.
Sergeant Denies Bush received an award for excellence in innovation for developing a unit to catch speeding motorists.
Metro police chief Chris Ngcobo said: "Officer Felix saved a colleague who held a gun to his own head threatening to kill himself. When the police came closer he turned the gun and pointed it at them."
He said the officer's wife was crying and everyone was confused about what to do.
"Felix dived and grabbed the firearm. It was something no one expected," he said.
Ngcobo said Felix was also a skilled marksman.
"He is very streetwise and we don't want to remove him from the streets," he said.
Ngcobo said Felix had once fended off a group of AK47-wielding thugs who tried to rob a supermarket. Felix was armed only with a pistol.
"He is a brave young man. He is the man in South Africa," added Ngcobo.
Felix has been encouraged to study further.
The awards were held at the JMPD headquarters in Newlands, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.
More than 800 motorists have been arrested in the past nine months, thanks to Bush's model.
The unit operates more efficiently than conventional speed cameras.
The department also received an award for service excellence.
"The selection criteria were tough and the judges were academics and experts from the University of South Africa.
"We are very happy that our guys managed to beat officers from other metropolitans," said the elated Ngcobo.
Director David Tembe said: "Morale is high among the police officers. We have managed to maintain peace in Johannesburg after more than two weeks of xenophobic violence because of their dedication."