The R2.1-million in pledges to the Widows and Orphans Fund for Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) is nearing its goal, with over R1.8-million in the bank so far.
The money has been earmarked to assist the families of police officers who died in the line of duty this year.
“I can confirm that a total amount of R1,805,535.81 has been paid in to the bank account. We met with the fund and it was decided that this money be capped separately. Regardless of whether they were members of the fund or not, the money will be distributed to the families of all the SAPS members murdered in the line of duty between January and August this year,” said Head of Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee.
The fund is expected to make the first payments in the next few weeks, urging beneficiaries to use the money to pay the necessities like school and fees, food and other basic requirements.
Crime Line and the SHOUT Foundation, inspired by Lead SA, called on the nation to pledge money towards the fund.
“We are humbled by each and every South African who has demonstrated their concern over the number of cops being killed. This is a national crisis. We have to support our men and women in blue. Let’s criticise the cops when we have to, but let’s not forget that there are many committed police officials who wear their uniform with pride and fiercely protect us. We need to support them,” said Abramjee.
Abramjee expressed his hope that the money raised will ease some of the worries that families face when a loved one and breadwinner is killed in the line of duty.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa thanked South Africans for donating to the fund, calling on the public to also support the recently launched education trust for children of murdered police officials. “We urge everyone to assist. Many of those killed are foot soldiers who leave behind dependants. Let’s continue to support those left behind,” said Mthethwa.
The response to the Crime Line call for pledges was overwhelming. Business, NGOs, school children and churches dug deep in their pockets to assist the orphans, widows and widowers of slain cops.
The board of the Widows and Orphans Fund for members of the SAPS expressed their sincere appreciation on behalf of all of those who are going to benefit from this initiative. “We are extremely grateful to the public of South Africa and especially to the initiators of this project. Although money cannot heal the wounds caused by the death of a loved one, the Board sincerely hopes that this monetary support will at least lighten the burden on the shoulders of those dependants who were left behind,” said the fund CEO, Elaine Notnagel.
SA – the Good News via SAPA