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Sandile Sololo’s no-nonsense attitude in dealing with smash-and-grab incidents and his breakthrough in the investigation into the shooting of a colleague saw him walk away with top honours at the City’s annual safety and security awards. Read more below:

Metro Police sergeant, Sandile Sololo, smashed the competition and grabbed the coveted ‘Officer of the Year’ prize at the City of Cape Town’s annual safety and security awards ceremony last night, 7 December 2017.

The awards are a fixture on the Safety and Security Directorate’s calendar, designed to acknowledge staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, often under trying circumstances.

Sergeant Sololo has been instrumental in a number of arrests in and around the Langa area. In June 2017, he commanded successful operations with the Langa South African Police Service to find and arrest the suspect who attacked and shot his colleague, Constable Mini. On 10 September 2017, Sgt Sololo followed up on information received involving smash-and-grab suspects. During an ensuing shootout, two suspects were killed and five others arrested. The firearm stolen during the attack on Constable Mini was also recovered.

A list of some of the other category winners is available here: http://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre%20Assets/Directorate%20Awards_December%202017.pdf

At the awards ceremony, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, reflected on the year and commended staff for their focus.

‘Sergeant Sololo is one of the many shining stars working hard every day to keep our residents safe. His no-nonsense attitude and commitment is something to admire and I for one am proud to have individuals of his calibre in the Safety and Security Directorate. The quality of leadership, dedication of staff, the willingness to try new ways of doing things, and most of all the resilience shown in the face of the culture of lawlessness we see in Cape Town makes the job easier, including putting into action the priorities of the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan.

‘Given the nature of matters relating to safety and security, we tend to lurch from one incident or crisis to the next and 2017 has been a year of many and varied disasters that have kept the City’s Safety and Security staff very busy. It started with the fire in Imizamo Yethu – one of the worst our city has ever seen. The Disaster Risk Management Centre did sterling work, with many staff members working day and night for months to keep the displaced community sheltered, fed and safe. Just a few months later, they would once again be called into action on a large scale with the massive storm in June.

‘This year we have had the ever-increasing pressure of the drought crisis and as if we didn’t have enough on our hands with our own disasters, our Fire and Rescue Service then rushed to the aid of the Knysna Municipality when they faced rampaging fires in June.

‘Every year the Safety and Security Directorate is a top performer in terms of budget spent. The money we are given is hard-won and we leverage it for all we can. I am pleased to note that traffic fine income this past year is the highest it has ever been.

‘This year has also been a big one for the 107 Public Emergency Communication Centre, with the roll-out of Project EPIC, as well as taking on the calls for Table Mountain National Park and the Metals Theft Unit. This year over half a million calls were answered, 85% within 10 seconds. This is an immense achievement and indicative of the hard work that happens behind the scenes,’ said Alderman Smith.

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