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Taking a ride to Wayne Minnaar's traffic world

By unknown | Mar 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar's route to the top has not been an easy journey.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar's route to the top has not been an easy journey.

Minnaar, 50, of Bushkoppies, south of Johannesburg, is presently the chief spokesperson for the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.

His career dates back to 1981 when he joined the force, then called the Johannesburg Traffic Department, at the age of 22.

His leadership acumen had already been identified at high school, where he was "always" the class monitor.

As a teenager he loved the traffic cops' uniform, their "bikes and and long, black boots".

He started at the bottom of the department's ladder, patrolling on foot in Braamfontein.

His diligence paid off when he became the first "non-white" officer to drive a patrol car in Johannesburg's north-west suburbs, an area which was then strictly for whites only.

In 1983, Minnaar and Max Makhanya became the first black officers to drive patrol cars on the Johannesburg freeway.

This is the unit where Minnaar spent eight tough years of service.

In 1987 he was run over by a car while controlling traffic next to a broken-down bus.

"My hipbone was broken and I spent five weeks in hospital."

He also had stints in other police units such as the dog and control office units.

In 1992 Minnaar was promoted to assistant superintendent, and put in charge of traffic officers in Hillbrow.

On Freedom Day in 1994, Minnaar was in charge of providing patrols at various polling stations in Johannesburg.

He also headed the school driver programme and school patrol programme until 2001, when the JMPD was established.

The then police chief Chris Ngcobo then appointed Minnaar as JMPD's spokesperson.

A year later Minnaar was appointed chief superintendent.

"The best moment of my career was when I escorted Nelson Mandela to his daughter's wedding Zindzi in 1992."

Despite his hectic schedule Minnaar still finds time to watch boxing's Blow by Blow on TV, rugby and go to the gym.

"I try to separate my emotions from my responsibility and that, I think, makes me execute my duties professionally," he said.

Minnaar has been married for 28 years to Cheryl and they have two sons.


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