The two are well experienced in policing.
THERE are two new bobbies on the block in Kimberley following the recent appointment of Brigadier Belinda Rikhotso as station commander of the Galeshewe police station and Brigadier Hendrik van Rensburg as the provincial head of the Operational Command Centre in the Northern Cape.
Brigadier Rikhotso began her journey as a police officer at the age of 25 in Mamelodi, Pretoria in June 1988. She started as a municipal police officer and later joined the South African Police Service in 1994, where she went for her basic training in Hammanskraal, Pretoria in the same year.
Her inspiration and motivation for wanting to join the police was based on her observation of her father’s helpfulness towards the community of Mamelodi during his time as a police official.
When she joined the SAPS, she was already a sergeant. She worked with injuries, leave, finance and SAPS 13. In 1996 she was promoted to the rank of inspector as a group commander before heading the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit at Mamelodi police station.
During that period, she helped to secure serious convictions against perpetrators of gender-based violence, leading to her promotion to the rank of captain seven years later.
In 2004, she was transferred to Bronkhorstspruit SAPS to act as a detective commander and in 2005 she was permanently appointed in the same post at the level of superintendent.
Six years later she spread her wings and was again promoted, to the rank of colonel, in the Eastern Cape in 2011, where she was appointed as the detective commander at Mthatha police station.
She remained in that post for more than five years until she was moved to the Mthatha cluster office as a detective co-ordinator in February 2017. In July of the same year, she took a cross-transfer to the Galeshewe police station, where she was the detective commander.
Brigadier Rikhotso holds a National Diploma and a B-Tech degree in Policing and has attended a number of internal courses and workshops offered by the SAPS. She has acted as a station commander at various police stations including Bronkhorstspruit, Mthatha, Galeshewe and Kimberley police station, where she was based prior to her recent promotion to the rank of brigadier.
She is also well decorated as a veteran police officer – she has accumulated six medals that include the SAPS Medal for Faithful Service (10 years), SAPS Ten Year Commemoration Medal (1995-2005), SAPS Twenty Year Loyal Service Medal, Soccer World Cup 2010, Centenary Medal (1913-2013) and the SAPS Thirty Year Loyal Service Medal.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatsebe stated on Wednesday that her experience and knowledge would benefit the management of the SAPS and would contribute to the enhancement of service delivery within the community of Galeshewe and Kimberley at large.
Another recent appointment is that of Brigadier Van Rensburg as the provincial head of the Operational Command Centre in the Northern Cape.
Van Rensburg started his career in the police service in January 1986 and completed his training at the SAPS College in Pretoria. After his training, he was transferred as a constable to Public Order Police in Kimberley, immediately starting to prepare for his career in the police service as an experienced operational police officer.
During his stay at Public Order Police, Brigadier Van Rensburg never neglected his academic qualifications and as a result of that he was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1990 and in 1994 to the rank of warrant officer.
In 1997 he was promoted to the rank of captain after obtaining his National Diploma in Policing.
In January 1998 he was transferred to Provincial Human Resource Development, where he presented SWAT training to members of the police service in the Province.
In November 2000, Van Rensburg was transferred to the old Diamond Field Area where he performed duties as a crime prevention officer.
In January 2001 he was moved back to Operational Response Service at Provincial level to attend to different crime-prevention operations in the Province, such as the festive season operations and other crime-prevention initiatives. In 2005 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
With the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup by South Africa, Van Rensburg played a major role in the co-ordination of the police deployments in the Northern Cape to ensure the safety of the soccer teams hosted by the Province and the policing of the event as a whole.
During October 2014 he was promoted to colonel and transferred to Visible Policing in Galeshewe, performing duties as the commander responsible for Crime Prevention in the Galeshewe police station precinct.
In January 2017 he was transferred back to Provincial Operational Co-ordination, until his promotion as brigadier on July 1, 2020.
He has also played an important role in the co-ordination and execution of policing of all large events in the Northern Cape, where co-ordinated and specialised policing is essential, such as visits to the Province by national dignitaries, the inauguration of provincial dignitaries, the annual SOPA, NCOP visits to the Northern Cape and the co-ordination of deployments by the SAPS in the Northern Cape during national and provincial elections.
Apart from obtaining his National Diploma in Police Administration, Van Rensburg attended several internal courses in his field of expertise to enhance himself in the professional improvement of his duties to the community of the Northern Cape.
“With his specialised skills, years of operational experience and unique expertise, Brigadier Van Rensburg will definitely deliver a positive contribution in the planning, co-ordination and execution of all provincial police operations and crime-fighting efforts,” Ramatseba said.