Festive cheer for orphans
ZANELE Radebe and her sister, Nobuhle, will never know their father Justice.
In March this year, Superintendent Justice Radebe, 37, was killed in a horrific car accident while transporting criminals from Johannesburg to East London, Eastern Cape. He was stationed at the Alexandra Police Station.
Zanele, who is one year old, and her four-year-old sister Nobuhle, are among hundreds of children whose police officer parents died in the line of duty.
In Gauteng alone, 139 police officers were killed this year, leaving behind 227 children.
On Friday, 30 children gathered at The Mall of Rosebank, Johannesburg, to remember their loved ones and receive gifts donated by members of the public.
Superintendent Gicks Moyane, head of Gauteng's police chaplains said: "It is befitting that as we have just celebrated the UN's rights of the child day, and the 16 days of activism against women and child abuse, we have this time to give and bless and put a smile on the faces of these children."
Hillbrow's Inspector Musa Shihambe said this year his station lost 14 officers, leaving behind 29 children.
"Most of the officers were shot. As chaplains we try our best to support the bereaved families," said Shihambe.
This year the public donated R14000 to the "Angels for Good" campaign. The campaign has been running for the past 10 years.
Captain Julia Classen, who speaks for the police in the province, pleaded with the public to value and respect police officers because for "every one police officer we lose, security for a thousand people is compromised".
She urged the public to remember that police officers too have families.
Trigan, 3, and her six-year-old brother Brandon, wore broad smiles when they were handed their gifts - dolls for her and an articulated truck for him.
Their mother, Brenda Schoeman, was one of the four police officers killed during 2006 Jeppestown massacre.