This law enforcement officer says he got a lekker surprise when he was named this year’s City of Cape Town’s Officer of the Year.
Fourteen brave men and women were nominated for the City’s Safety and Security Directorate’s most coveted award.
But it was Officer Jacobus Gelant, 44, from Muizenberg, who impressed the judges most.
Jacobus says it is the second time he has been nominated, and like the first time, he didn’t really expect to win.
“I just went for the fun. I have been working for law enforcement for seven years and before that have 20 years service with correctional services,” he says.
“I never knew my hard work would ever be seen by the bosses, but I was so shocked when my name was called, I almost did not get up.”
The City says the divorced father of two was nominated after being instrumental in defusing a dangerous situation where about 50 rival skollies had a gang fight.
Six suspects were arrested when cops arrived.
The City’s JP Smith says: “Gelant successfully prevented serious injuries from occurring, given that the beach was full of innocent bystanders.”
In addition, he made at least 31 arrests until mid-October, including apprehending two armed would-be hijackers who tried to attack two women along the Borcherds Quarry bridge in July.
Smith says: “Law enforcement agencies across the board face a lot of public criticism when they’re perceived not to act, but we seldom hear the good stories. That is why we’ve instituted this annual awards ceremony because we want to recognise the exceptional service that the City’s enforcement staff deliver on a daily basis.”