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Podcast: First Person Episode 6 – The Boys in Blue

South Africa

South Africa

Podcast: First Person Episode 6 – The Boys in Blue

How one police sergeant, fed up with putting the same youngsters into the back of his police van every week, decided to use his own passion to change the lives of children around him. By Daily Maverick’s MARIANNE THAMM.

If you spend much time in Kayamandi, the chances are you’ll bump into Sergeant Simphiwe “Charlie” Mgwetana in his police van. He’s always on the beat – attending robberies, breaking up fights and trying to deal with the area’s overriding issue of domestic violence.

It’s also Charlie’s job to deal with the boys who hang around the mall, smoking, drinking and pilfering. Every week he’d put the same kids in the back of his van, take them to the station, see them leave – only to end up in the back of his van the next weekend. So, six years ago, he decided to do something about it. In Episode 6 of First Person, Marianne Thamm discovers how this remarkable man has used his own passion to turn around the lives of the desperate children around him. DM

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