You can help families of slain police officers

04 September 2011 - 03:56 By MONICA LAGANPARSAD

Captain Mervin Reddy, 39, was gunned down in May, in an attempted hijacking. He was shot three times in his driveway in Newlands West, near Durban, before the attackers fled with his service pistol and cellphone.

The authorities have stepped up their efforts to limit the impact of police deaths on their families and colleagues.

The police ministry has issued a trauma and counselling plan for families and colleagues. This includes ensuring there are no delays in pension fund payouts, and the establishment of an education fund for the children of officers.

Reddy, who was with the Pinetown Crime Intelligence Unit, and father of a 15-year-old boy, was to have married his fiancée this month.

Said his cousin, Trevor Reddy: "When the hijackers approached him, our niece was standing at the door and his first instinct was to get her out of there. It has been very traumatic . ''

The ministry has urged public support for the Widows and Orphans Fund, which was established to offer financial assistance to bereaved families.

The fund's Elaine Notnagel said it was helping to support 917 widows and 2 921 orphans at present.

The head of Crimeline, Yusuf Abramjee, recently asked South Africans to donate to the fund. In just 12 hours, R2.1-million was pledged.

Said Abramjee: ''There needs to be an outcry each time a cop is killed. We make a noise when a rhino is killed for its horn, but we are rather quiet when a cop is killed for a pistol. The time has come for us to unite. We salute the Sunday Times for its role.''

  • To contribute to the fund, SMS the word ''Donation'' to 38738. Each SMS costs R10.

Donations can also be made into the fund's bank account:

Bank: Absa

Account number:

030 000 080

Branch code: 632005

Branch name: Brooklyn Square