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Women’s Conference in Eastern Cape

MTHATHA - The Deputy National Commissioner: Asset and Legal Management, Lt Gen Francscinah Vuma is a guest at the South African Police Service (SAPS) Eastern Cape women's conference under the leadership of the Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga at Mthatha. She is engaging with the 300 women members and employees in the lower levels of the SAPS from across the province.

The women's conference is taking place at the same venue where SAPS women leadership converged last year and unveiled the SAPS Women Empowerment Agenda 2019 � 2024. The gathering also afforded senior women leadership of the Service a platform to engage and address these and other matters affecting vulnerable groups.

The first day of the conference, under the theme Reclaiming Our Confidence in Heels was opened with a powerful prayer by Reverend Kunene and her message to the delegations was your tomorrow will be better than your yesterday. Major General Thobeka Kunene, Deputy Provincial Commissioner: Human Resource Management encouraged all the delegates to participate during the session and urged them to continue to prepare themselves through such empowerment programs and to empower each other.

Unpacking the theme make a statement that as women, we need to add an inch in everything we are doing, when we talk, when we walk, when we care etc. The white tops symbolises peace and purity.

The day was characterised by various speakers including SAPS Legal Services who unpacked the impact of civil claims within the SAPS and how they impact on the budget. The message was that as SAPS members we must remain vigilant and always act within the SAPS Code of Conduct when executing our duties.

Mr Khaya Nkontso represented Commission for Gender Equality gave an overview on the role of CGE but the focus of his participation at the conference was on sexual harassment.

Ms Bukiwe Fanta, an MP at the Eastern Cape Legislature gave a motivational talk after she was introduced by Lt Gen Ntshinga. She pledged her support and the support of the Eastern Cape Government to the SAPS. Gender-based violence is so rife in our society but we have our hopes on you, SAPS women. Help us to rescue our elderly women and young girls from sexual abuse. Help us to rescue our women as they are abused and assaulted by men, she pleaded. She closed by urging the women to stand up for what is right and deal with crime and criminality and encouraged them to keep strong and never stop praying.

The day was concluded by a domestic violence engagement session where women were given a platform to share their experiences. The message by Sgt Sibaca was that women must rise from the dust and restore their dignity.

Day two of the conference resumed with praise and worship before Reverend Kosini opened with the prayer.

Today's theme, Restore Female Dignity was befitting of how yesterday's session was concluded. Today we are restoring the dignity of all the females who are and continue to be survivors of domestic violence and abuse in the hands of their partners. Be strong women of SAPS, women of the province, women of the country and women of the world. Fix your eyes on God, He is our comforter and blesser, she concluded.

KwaZakhele SAPS Station Commander, Brigadier Lindelwa Vellem motivated the women under the theme Dream Big, Think Big and Motivate Yourself. She concluded by encouraging the delegates to stay focused and positive and to remain true to themselves.

Colonel Lungiswa Sabana unpacked the Ministerial Six Point Plan which was necessitated by the complaints from the community.

Mrs Nombini Maqelana gave a motivational talk to the women at the conference. Her message was centred on High Five Women.

Find yourself (know your strengths and weaknesses),

Focus on your field (you are the best when you original),

Focus on the final (your finishing is your choice),

Forgive (if you want to fly high, forgive them even if they are not sorry) and

Find your being.

She concluded by unpacking the word POLICE and why being a policeman/woman is a calling and not a job. Protector, Obedience, Loyal, Ignite, Change agents, Empowerment.

Certificates of appreciation were handed over to women in the specialised units like the pilot, women at Mounted Unit etc. SAPS uniform and Dress Code was also paraded and presented by members and employees.

The day was concluded by a motivational message by Lt Gen Ntshinga. She started by reminding women of who they are. "Women, be driven by hope and not by fear". She emphasized that hope should characterise and drive women of today. "Fear makes you to be submissive to circumstances you do not like. Fear creates another character within you. Fear is ugly, cruel and is your enemy and will destroy you. Because of fear, people have missed opportunities, she added.

She also shared the V-formation of the flying of geese and encourages women to use the same formation in supporting and empowering each other. She also challenged women to fly like eagles and keep good company with an accurate vision while focusing on the new frontiers to conquer. Achievers are not afraid of the storms, therefore be not afraid of challenges.

Source: South African Police Service

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