A solemn national prayer at Kempton Park paid tribute to the dedicated members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who have lost their lives, both in the line of duty and during their off-duty hours.
This particular prayer gathering, which marked the conclusion of Police Safety Month, occurred on September 29 at the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Kempton Park.
The observance of a national prayer day is a tradition that spans the entire country, as explained by Brigadier Sthembiso Shobede-Nkosi. Each province holds its prayer sessions simultaneously, with participants united in their prayer intentions.
“The national prayer day is aimed at praying for the safety, courage, and discernment of police officers, whether they are on or off duty. It is a way to uplift their spirits and reaffirm support for the safety of all police personnel,” noted Shobede-Nkosi.
The office of Spiritual Services Abaruti organised this heartfelt prayer event. The office represents pastors from diverse religious backgrounds. The clergy members fervently prayed for peace and harmony, eradicating gender-based violence stigmas, the well-being of officers, and creating a safe environment for all.
A poignant moment during the event was the candle-lighting ceremony, featuring the lighting of ten candles. Each candle symbolised a province, with nine representing the provinces and one indicating the head office. This symbolic gesture meant a collective prayer for divine protection over SAPS officers, who consistently place themselves in harm’s way to safeguard South African citizens.
Major General C Hendricks, the deputy provincial commissioner and a keynote speaker at the event, shared sombre statistics. During the 2022/2023 financial year, SAPS lost 34 members while fulfilling their duties.
The fallen officers were previously honoured during the national commemoration day at the Union Buildings in Tshwane. An enduring tribute to these officers is the “Wall of Memory” in the Union Buildings gardens, where the names of police officers lost both on and off duty are etched.
Reflecting on the event, Major General Hendricks emphasised the importance of continued public support and prayer for the SAPS, especially during holidays when officers face heightened challenges.
Picture: X / SAPoliceService
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