Criminals beware! Bheki is watching you

Bheki Zikalala epitomises crime fighting.

He is a dynamic force to be reckoned with.

His name has become synonymous with fighting crime, and he is committed to cleaning up the streets of Newcastle.

Born in Vryheid, Bheki Zikalala relocated to Newcastle in 1992, and was employed as an Area Manager for a furniture store. He is married, and is celebrating 37 years with his wife, Nomsa. The father of three was recruited in 2004 by a police official to join the Community Policing Forum (CPF).

Withing a short time frame, Bheki was appointed chairman of the CPF in Newcastle; a position he has held ever since.

Bheki’s commitment and contribution to the forum was recognised by the Department of Community Safety and Liaison in 2011, when he received two awards – for the ‘Best CPF Person’ and ‘Veteran CPF Person’.

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“I was pleased to receive these awards because it gave me encouragement to do better.”

During his stint as CPF Chairman, he has worked with many station commanders and believed each one taught him something new.

“Each station commander has his own management style and the experience I gained from them is invaluable.”

Not limiting himself to just one community service organisation, he was elected as the chairman of the Primary Health Care Clinic Committee in October last year.

In just a few months as chairman, he managed to get the clinic committee accepted by the MEC for Health, Dr Sibongseni Dlomo.

“I can report the clinic is doing well. The committee is one of the first in Newcastle to be accepted by the Department of Health,” he confirmed.

Bheki stated that, like any organisation, the clinic also faced many challenges.

“In order for the clinic to run smoothly, patients are required to cooperate with the nursing staff. I want to encourage patients to honour their booked appointments. If you skip the appointment, it causes a backlog.”

This jack of all trades has many aces up his sleeve. Bheki has been married to Nomsa for 37 years, and has three children.

Being a natural born crime fighter, it was only fitting that Bheki serve on the Newcastle 911 Community Policing Forum.

“The organisation has just celebrated one year as a CPF. I sit at management level and hope to continue to fight crime via this platform.”

Aside from his many achievements and positions of responsibility, Bheki is also in charge of the CCTV at the Newcastle Municipality.

As an active member of the community, Bheki has forged many meaningful relationships. He was particularly touched by the untimely passing of Warrant Officer Sascha Naidoo, and also of Sister Gama who worked for many years as a clinic nurse.

“W/O Naidoo was known as a dedicated canine handler who was passionate about his job. He was the type of person you could call on for help, even when he was off-duty.”

Bheki extended his condolences to family, friends and colleagues of W/O Naidoo.

In conclusion, Bheki encouraged people to join local CPF’s and help diminish crime in their areas.

“One cannot rely solely on the SAPS, you need to be actively involved to reduce crime. If we all get involved we can make a difference in the community,” he concluded.

Tersia Gopi

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