Top cop with heart in the right place

Maj-GenAnna Mateisi rose rapidly through the police ranks to occupy positions of respect. She is also an ambassador of the fight against domestic violence. /Thulani Mbele
Maj-GenAnna Mateisi rose rapidly through the police ranks to occupy positions of respect. She is also an ambassador of the fight against domestic violence. /Thulani Mbele

Maj-Gen Anna Mateisi is not just a top cop but is championing women empowerment initiatives and is also an ambassador against domestic violence.

Mateisi, 45, from Orlando East in Soweto, joined the SA Police Service in 1994.

Her determination saw her rise from the constable rank until she reached the high rank of major-general, where very few policewomen are found.

Mateisi now serves as a station operational adviser on the West Rand.

"I strive for success and I have committed myself to empowering women. As the Gauteng Women's Network Champion leader, I was elected as the provincial champion and deputy national women's network champion in 2016."

Mateisi said the initiative identified disadvantaged women and families in townships and was a way of giving back to the community.

"The change I make in the communities has given me a reason to wake up every day. We help families by donating food parcels, clothes and establish vegetable gardens where the communities are growing and feeding themselves."

The mother of three said although she was a senior manager in the organisation, she still finds time to get home after resolving social crime issues to help her children with homework and fulfill their daily needs.

Mateisi said she believed in healthy eating and that was her secret to looking good. She said gender-based violence has become a national crisis and challenge for the police.

"I would like to urge women to stop withdrawing charges they come to open against their partners. Once an abuser, always an abuser."

She said abusers "sweet talk" the women but only go back to being violent towards them.

Mateisi encourages women by quoting one of her favorite quotes from singer Beyoncé Knowles, saying: "We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves, we have to step up as women and take the lead."

Mateisi said women need to stop fearing walking away.

"When you stay, you give that man power over you. When things get tough we discover that we can become our own worst enemies, as humans we need to know our own power and our own brilliance."

Mateisi said women must know and understand that "they are strong in their own rightful way and unleash the potential within them".

Mateisi completed her matric in 1992 at Bona Secondary School in Orlando East, obtained a diploma in policing and a certificate in project management from Unisa.

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