Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, at the Farewell Luncheon of Major General Henriette de Waal Horseshoe Inn, Kimberley

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Programme Director, Brigadier Moeng

MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Ms Nomandla Bloem

Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt General Otola

Our honoured guest, Major General de Waal

Senior Management of SAPS

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Today is a bittersweet day for not only the South African Police Services but also for the people of the Northern Cape. Bitter in the sense that we have gathered to say not goodbye, but see you later to a decorated and respected officer of the law. The sweet part is that we grant her the well-deserved and earned rest.

Looking around the room, there is a mixed display of emotions. To many Major General de Waal was a mentor, a mother and a friend, the epitome of what it means to represent the uniform. She selflessly went the extra mile to ensure the well-being, safety and contentment of members under her command and beyond as well as their loved ones. Her generous, fair and compassionate nature played an integral role in her success as a respected and much admired senior officer.

I have learnt that Major General de Waal studied Industrial Psychology and obtained her Honours in both Project Management and Labour Relations. Amongst her career highlights is that she has been the Chief Negotiator of the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) for the Northern Cape for the last 15 years. She also holds the rank of Major General for the last 12 years and this is a major accomplishment.

In my meetings with the distinguished Major General, I did not doubt in my mind that I met a phenomenal woman of deep gravitas, soaked and absorbed both in her area of expertise as well as delivering on her mandate to the best of her ability.

The speakers before me, Ladies and Gentlemen, gave you an in-depth account of her resumé, the accolades bestowed upon her during her illustrious and very challenging career.

Programme Director, one of the abiding clichés of our times is that “First Impressions are Lasting Impressions” and the impressions embedded in my mind of General de Waal are as follows:

  • Neat and methodical
  • Unassuming yet confident
  • Pragmatic but purposeful
  • Authoritative yet compassionate; and
  • Friendly but possessing of a determined resolve to get things done

Ladies and Gentlemen, while one may be able to learn good management and leadership techniques from a textbook or the internet, the genuine X factor that makes a born leader is innate. We have seen this indescribable X factor in Major General de Waal.

At the peak of the Covid 19 pandemic, I worked very closely with Major General de Waal; under very difficult times and amidst the very personal loss of her husband, Brigadier Dick de Waal, Major General still managed to leave a lasting impression. It was during these trying times that she was called upon to steer the SAPS into unchartered terrain. Over and above the preservation of life, General de Waal had to ensure that law and order were maintained and executed to the letter.

In our Joint operations and Command Centres, she was the voice of reason and an example to many. The calibre of Major General De Waal is a rare gem these days. In Afrikaans we say “hulle is maar dun gesaai”.

This is what all of us will miss. A person of nobility and pride, of law and order, of right and wrong, an officer and a lady.

We in the Northern Cape will sorely miss you but we wish you well in all your endeavours. Your singular and sterling contributions will remain in our collective psyche as the people of the Northern Cape.

Thank you


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