After working in the South African Police Service (SAPS) for almost 40 years, Brigadier Enolium Joseph has hung up his boots.
However, the veteran policeman is still committed to uplifting the community.
Mr Joseph, 57, entered the police force in 1982 and worked at Claremont police station as a constable for two years.
He then attended police training college in Bishop Lavis and studied to become a police instructor.
He went on to lecture at the college for 10 years and then worked at Bishop Lavis, Delft, and Atlantis police stations before he became the first coloured station commander of Milnerton police station in 1998.
Two years later he joined the Mitchell’s Plain SAPS team and one year later he became the station commander at Manenberg police station for three years and then held the same title at Steenberg police station.
In 2012 he returned to Claremont SAPS and in 2016 he went back to Manenberg police station.
Mr Joseph said being a police officer has taken a toll on his family life as his job was demanding on his time. He said he looks forward to spending time with his wife, whom he has been married to for 31 years, and his two children.
“You know when it is time to go and this is my time. I have served my people as much as I can and it is time that I hand over to the younger generation.”
Mr Joseph said the greatest achievement of his career was when he became the first coloured station commander of Milnerton police station. He said the job was tough as he encountered racial prejudice and faced the task of keeping the community safe at all times.
“There was a lot of pressure on me as a non-white as I entered into that managerial position and I was expected to make a difference in the community. I succeeded because I worked harder than normal and I believed in myself and others and used that to transform my space,” he said.
He said that together with his team they have managed to bring down the high rate of gang violence in Manenberg from 12 to 15 murders a day to only a few. People now feel safer and the area is better to live in, he said.
“It has been a daunting task to maintain a position like this. It demands all of you, you don’t get to enjoy holidays like other people and even when you do you are on standby. It has caused a lot of damage in my family and now I am ready to spend time with them although it is difficult to leave the police force as I’ve always been a part of it,” he said.
The Athlone resident plans to get involved with non-profit organisations to continue to uplift communities across Cape Town.
“To the people of Manenberg and surrounding areas, thank you for believing in SAPS and what we can do. There is only a minority of people who are the bad ones in Manenberg but the majority of you are good people. You have helped the police to succeed and together as a community we have succeeded, thank you for your tip-offs and engagement. Take ownership of your communities, there is a bright future for our people,” he said.