Free State’s new police commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane has vowed to work around the clock to bring down crime in the province.
Motswenyane told Premier Sisi Ntombela and her provincial cabinet during a recent meeting at the OR Tambo House in Bloemfontein that she is up to the enormous task and raring to go.
The commissioner said she would be working closely with the provincial government to ensure that social ills prevalent in the Free State are curbed.
Motswenyane, who replaced former police provincial commissioner Lieutenant Moeketsi Sempe, is accredited for her vast experience spanning 19 years in the police service.
Prior to being deployed to the Free State, Motswenyane had been serving in a similar position in the North West province.
She noted she wishes to build on the solid foundation laid by Sempe in fighting crime in the Free State, with the latter having succeeded in bringing murder cases down by 5.1 percent in the 2017/18 financial year. The province had 1054 reported murder cases, a number which was drastically reduced to 1000 in the next financial year.
Free State also managed to reduce eight crimes out of a total of 17 this past year. These included murder, common robbery, arson, malicious damage to property, burglary at residential premises, theft of motor vehicles and shoplifting.
Throwing her support behind Motswenyane, Ntombela warned criminal syndicates that their days of acting with impunity are over.
“On behalf of the Free State provincial government and indeed the people of the Free State, I would like to extend a hearty welcome to Lieutenant General Motswenyane. Indeed, hers is a massive responsibility, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that she will do well,” said Ntombela.
“I consider our province privileged to have a woman of her calibre leading the police force,” she added.
Turning her attention to the growing incidence of gender based violence, Ntombela pleaded with Motswenyane to ‘deal harshly with cowards’ who violate women and children.
The Premier said Motswenyane must be as concerned about the abuse of women and children as everyone is, pleading with her to do all in her power to protect them.
“We wish Lieutenant-General Motswenyane all the best and, collectively, we reiterate that there is no space for all forms of crime in the Free State,” said Ntombela.