A well-known police reservist in Athlone has died at the age of 49 from Covid-19.
Belgravia Neighbourhood Watch patrol member Shams Tabrez Sayed described Constable Trevor van der Westhuizen, better known as “Wessie”, as one-of-a-kind, a warm-hearted person who carried out his responsibilities as a police officer with passion and love for his community.
Constable Van der Westhuizen died on Saturday July 24.
He joined Athlone police station in 2005 after leaving Sea Point SAPS, where he had worked as community patrol officer.
He had five children and was committed to his family and his job, said his close friend and colleague Jacqueline Mouton.
Athlone police station spokeswoman Sergeant Zita Norman said Constable Van der Westhuizen had been all-rounder, delivering documents and summonses, transporting prisoners and doing patrols in the area.
“He was always a jovial person, always smiling, very hard-working. Nothing was ever too much for him. He was always the same, always polite. He was the station commander’s right hand, and his presence is already being missed sorely in the office,” she said.
Mr Sayed said Constable Van der Westhuizen had always been ready to help those in need.
“He was never afraid to ask for help either and often joined us on our patrols. If he didn’t see us, he would come look where we were. He was really a one-in-a-million person, and we will miss him terribly. He dedicated his entire life to being a policeman, and he was just so down to earth. He helped so many families reunite. We are very sad about his passing.”
Ms Mouton said Constable Van der Westhuizen had started his shift at 7am and had gone home after 11pm every night. She described him as a people’s person, a community-orientated officer who never discriminated against anyone.
“One day we were driving, and I said, ’Wessie, look there’s a man bleeding at the robot,’ and he stopped and he took the man home to Bellville, and his family was so grateful. The man was robbed and stabbed and no one wanted to help him.
“Another time, in the trauma room, was a mom with three kids, and they were so hungry, so I called him to bring them something to eat. An hour later, he brought food for three days and so much akhni and koeksisters for them. That is the type of person he was. We will miss him dearly,” she said.