The new face behind Newcastle 911

Head strong and brave, Mornè goes above and beyond to help others.

NEWCASTLE – Is it Batman? Superman? No. It is Newcastillian, Mornè Potgieter to the rescue as the new face behind Newcastle community forum, Newcastle 911.

As a young boy, Mornè envisioned his life as a sheep and cattle farmer.

Read: Fighting crime one neighbourhood at a time

However, as fate would have it, he followed a completely different path, and became actively involved in the security sector.

“I still do farming as a part-time hobby, but people’s safety has become my number one priority.”

In 2013, while living on a farm, he realised the impact of farm attacks and stock theft on the farming community, and joined a farmers’ safety forum.

“We have played an active role in all security sectors, as well as [working with] the police.”

Newcastle 911 requested him a while ago to join the community forum. After initial reluctance and careful consideration, the increase in crime in town persuaded him to join wholeheartedly.

Apart from being an active member of a farmers’ safety forum and Newcastle 911, Mornè is also the operational manager of his parents’ security firm, running major operations, which usually necessitate police assistance.

“A lot of my work in the firm entails investigation of bigger crimes.”

Mornè’s dream for 911 is that members will receive training to work in synergy with police without overstepping boundaries. He also hopes that more community members will work with Newcastle 911 for the safety of all.

“Safety is our main priority; we are like the eyes on the ground, keeping crime at bay where we can,” he said.

Also read: Crime fears the 911 call

A concern of 911 is that members have not yet received permission to use green lights to enhance visibility. According to Mornè, of the 38 911 forums around South Africa, Newcastle is the only one not allowed to use their lights yet.

“It sometimes makes our jobs difficult, as some residents work against us at certain scenes, such as collisions. We hope to receive our permission for the lights soon.”

Mornè prioritises police clearance of all new members of 911. He believes Newcastle 911 has made a positive impact in town, as members have successfully assisted in many arrests. Mornè also hopes to extend the 911 forum to more areas around Newcastle.

“I do believe I can make a success out of this, and hopefully one day be known as the best,” he said.

“It will be nice to have a family of my own, but for now, I am working on my own success,” he concluded.

While he is currently single, he is not averse to settling down and having a family once he meets the right girl.


Zianne Leibrandt

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