New station commander plans to stay

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BARBERTON – The Barberton Police Station recently welcomed yet another new station commander.
Col George Mshazo Tau joined the local SAPS on November 6 and has already made his intention clear that he wanted to be in this position “forever”.

“I have been permanently appointed to be the station commander for Barberton SAPS, not transferred to overlook it.
“I will soon relocate with my family on a permanent basis so that when the community cries, I will be able to jump out of my bed and go and assist them at any time as I will be closer,” declared Tau.
Of late, it has become a trend for the local SAPS to have a station commander appointed and before he or she can settle, transferred to another station.

Tau follows in the footsteps of Lt Col Lindani Sunbright Ndlovu, who was an interim station commander from December last year to October this year.
Ndlovu, who was involved in a car accident in October near Jathira and had to be airlifted to Mediclinic Nelspruit, had taken the reins from Col Rory Samuels.

Samuels served as station commander for less than six months.
He was appointed in June last year and in October of the same year, he took a transfer to his hometown, Durban, where he is currently serving in the legal-aid section of SAPS.

Ndlovu has since been transferred to KaMasoyi Police Station.
“I want to assure the community of Barberton that I’m here permanently.
“The welcome I have received from my colleagues has been overwhelming and I immediately felt at home.
“But I’m still planning to go out and speak to the community and introduce myself,” said Tau.

A self-proclaimed people’s person, Tau said he valued community-based projects. This meant that he wanted to work hand in hand with the people.

“Previously it was the police who were policing the community. My vision is to go to the people and ask them what mandate they want to give us. They must be the ones who police the police, not vice versa,” said Tau.
He said what he had learnt about Barberton was that it was a relatively crime-free town and he wanted to continue declining the statistics.

Tau brings with him a wealth of experience having served in the police for 31 years. He completed his training in 1982 and has worked in various components within the SAPS.

He joined the local station from Nelspruit provincial commissioner’s office personal management where he served as the section head in discipline trial unit.

In the past four years, the station has seen changing station commanders.
The late Sr Supt Leah Banda was first to be transferred in January 2010 after 31 suspects had escaped out of the holding cells at the station in December 28, 2009.
• In January, 2010, Col Harry Shabangu was appointed as an acting station commander.
On March, 2011, he was promoted to brigadier where he took a post as section head national inspectorate in Nelspruit.
• In March, 2011 Lt Col Thuli Mvalo was appointed as acting station commander until April 2011.
She was later transferred to Tonga Police Station.
• In April, 2011, Col Zachariah Nyathi was appointed full-time after the station had been without a permanent one since Sr Supt Banda’s departure. In April 2012, Nyathi was promoted to a provincial commander rank for crime prevention in Nelspruit.
• In June 2012, Col Rory Samuels was appointed full-time.
He took a transfer in October to take a position in the legal-aid section for the SAPS in Durban.
• In October 2012, Lt Col Lindani Sunbright Ndlovu was appointed on a temporarily basis until Col George Mshazo Tau was appointed.

Richard Nkosi

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