Brigadier Dick de Waal “led from the front, there was no case or task that was too complicated for him to solve”.
THE PROVINCIAL head of Organised Crime, Brigadier Dick de Waal, 58, was remembered for his investigative skills, passion for his work and for leading by example during a memorial service that was held at the NG Kerk Harmonie in Kimberley on Thursday.
De Waal was the investigating officer in a number of high-profile cases, including the triple murder of the Steenkamp family on their farm near Griekwastad, the G4S security cash heist where R30 million went missing, the murder of Pofadder hotel owner Leon Brits and the kidnapping and murder of the Brand family in Hartswater.
Deputy provincial commissioner Major-General Kholiswa Otola praised De Waal for his outstanding investigative skills.
“Dick led from the front, there was no case or task that was too complicated for him to solve. He was always on the ground with his members, leading them and holding their hands. He made my job easy, he was loved and respected and showed an amazing passion and commitment. His passing has left a huge void in our hearts, he has fulfilled his purpose.
He was instrumental in fighting crime in rural areas. We have lost a brother, father and colleague,” said Otola.
The divisional commissioner of supply chain management, Lieutenant-General Johannes Riet, described De Waal as one of the finest detectives in the Province, “if not the country”.
“He was a man of pure joy and unbreakable perseverance. De Waal was the head of Organised Crime in the Province for 20 years. He held a BTech degree and was mentoring young police officials till his final day. He started working at the SAPS in 1980 and he was always committed to selfless service to the community and committed to the transformation of the SAPS,” said Riet.
He added that De Waal, whose investigative work led to the prosecution of Don Steenkamp for the murder of his family in Griekwastad, which caught the attention of the world, had been turned into a movie with Arnold Vosloo playing De Waal.
“He believed in all of us. He showed capacity and great courage where he taught us to do what is right, to love all people and treat them with dignity and respect. He always stated that as long as he breathed, he would protect the innocent. We want our children to also grow up with these values.”
Acting provincial commissioner Henriette de Waal said that De Waal was her whole life, her soulmate and best friend.
Their daughter, Annelize, described her father as her hero and inspiration.
“I hope that one day I will be able to touch so many lives as you have. We miss you already and we have been left with so many unanswered questions. We have lost a father, my hero, it is a bitter pill to swallow.”
Their son, Arno, pointed out that they never had a chance to bid him goodbye.
“We will never be able to understand why you were taken away from us so quickly. We will remember you as the strong person, who always had a solution to any problem. You have left a void that will not be able to be filled.”
Hendri de Waal added that his father taught them unforgettable life lessons.
“As children we were brought up with the values in which you believed in.”