New CPF chief gets green light

A new chairperson was elected to head the Goodwood Community Police Forum (CPF) after a robust voting process last week.

Close to 30 people attended the Special General Meeting (SGM) at the Filia School in Goodwood on Monday July 3.

The posts of chairman and liaison officer were filled.

The meeting was chaired by Department of Community Safety (DOCS) fieldworker, Fagrodien Johnston.

Close to 50 percent of the relevant bodies, including religious, education, civic, business and sporting, were present at the meeting and a quorum was reached.

John Ross and Jas Visser were nominated for the position of chairman, with Mr Ross getting the nod.

CPF deputy chairwoman, Maurisha Niewenhuys, said the position of project co-ordinator also had to be filled as it became available after the previous candidate resigned.

The SGM was held as the previous chairwoman, Lee Jepson, had resigned in April after six months in the post (“CPF leader quits,” Northern News, April 26).

Ms Jepson cited a lack of support from the CPF executive as one of the reasons for her decision.

Lieutenant Colonel Hennie Rademeyer, acting Goodwood police station commander since November last year, also nominated Mr Visser as the project co-ordinator but he “respectfully declined”.

Neville Hitchcock was then nominated but he also declined.

The position remains open and the executive of the CPF was asked to meet to discuss a way forward.

After being nominated by Nazeem Israel, CPF public relations officer (PRO)Mr Visser was elected as liaison officer.

Mr Johnston said the CPF executive board had 21 days to object to the elected positions and a two-week window period in which to call another SGM.

Speaking about the role of the CPF in communities, Mr Johnston said: “We need more young people to get involved with the CPF. The CPF needs that type of energy. It’s important for CPFs to look beyond their differences when they don’t see eye to eye on issues.”

He congratulated new chairman Mr Ross, saying: “Jy moet hare op jou tande en kop het.”

Mr Ross thanked the CPF members for putting their faith in him.

“Due to my work experience I know how to deal with conflict and I am going to take every opportunity to learn from my fellow members. We have to work together and not against each other.”

He said from 1974 to 1993 he worked at Telkom; and from 1994 to 2005 he was involved in firearm sales and training.

Since 2006 he has worked as private investigator at Brooke International.

Mr Ross also worked as a police reservist from 1981 to 2012 for the Flying Squad and Goodwood police and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

He told the Northern News that he grew up in Vredehoek and had been living in Goodwood for more than 16 years.

When quizzed about the issues he plans to tackle, he said: “It’s a broad question but I feel there is a divide between the CPF and neighbourhood watch. We need to bridge that divide and work together. I also feel that more training and equipment is needed for the neighbourhood watch.”

He urged residents to roll up their sleeves and get more involved in the neighbourhood watch.

“The police need all the support they can get. The only way forward is to have a close co-operation between the police, the community and businesses,” he said.