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Thousands pay tribute to 'super cop' Chonco

By unknown | Sep 08, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Thousands of mourners gathered in a giant marquee at OphatheeNzama in the impoverished area of KwaNongoma to bid farewell to KwaZulu-Natal's "super cop" Zethembe Chonco.

Police from all over the country mingled with residents to pay their last respects.

Chonco's daughter, Nomagugu, 18, said her father was devoted to his work but always made time for his children and showed how much he loved them.

His colleagues wept openly at the funeral as speakers described the slain policeman as a "man of peace".

Among the mourners were officers led by provincial commissioner Hamilton Ngidi, MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Bheki Cele, deputy-mayor of Zululand Vus'muzi Mbuyisa and Mayor Mbekiseni Yengwa of Umzinyathi municipality.

"My soul is shattered, my spirit tells me to surrender but I refuse . But if anybody thinks we should surrender, it's impossible," said Bheki Cele.

Cele said the police and community of KwaZulu-Natal were in anguish over the death of those dedicated police in their ranks.

"Whenever there was something that I wanted the police to tackle, I would call provincial commissioners and ask for Chonco," Cele said.

"Chonco dealt with crime in a different way," he said. "When we had problems with our strategies in terms of dealing with thugs, Chonco was there to rescue us.

"As a result the community of KwaZulu-Natal voted him the best policeman."

He is survived by his wife Londekile, his mother Sesile and his three children, Nomagugu, 18, Zekhethelo, 15, and Tusani, 11.

Chonco was laid to rest at his home in the Ophathe area.


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