JOBURG Metro Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar has urged people to strengthen their immune systems to fight Covid-19.

Minnaar received his first vaccine dose in June and the second in July.

“Covid-19 drained a lot of resources as the department had to assist the SAPS in getting people to comply with the Disaster Management Act,” said Minnaar.

“Like many others, Covid has also affected me badly, especially when we started losing friends, family members and colleagues.”

Minnaar said Joburg’s ex-mayor Geoff Makhubo and former JMPD Chief Chris Ngcobo’s deaths saddened him.

He also lost his cousin to Covid-19.

Minnaar said: “The list is long. We have lost good people. It’s depressing.

“It’s important for everyone to get the jab. It’s also very important for people to strengthen their immune systems by taking vitamin supplements.”

Minnaar told Daily Sun he began his career in 1981.

He said he felt the need to serve and protect children as well as elderly people, and he also loved wearing uniform and shiny shoes.

After his second interview, he landed the job and was immediately taken for basic training.

Minnaar started as a foot patroller looking out for traffic violations and was later offered a car for patrols.

“I drove carefully. After a year, when the department received its new fleet, I was one of the first to get a new patrol car. Four officers were chosen to work on freeway patrol and I was one of them. I worked as a freeway patrol for eight years,” said Minnaar.

His career has been full of achievements, accompanied by awards and trophies.

In 1990, he travelled to Namibia to help with traffic during the inauguration of Sam Nujoma as president of Namibia.

On his return, he was awarded the best driver of the year and promoted to senior patrol officer.

In 1992, Minnaar was among a team of traffic officers who escorted former president Nelson Mandela to his daughter’s wedding.

In 2001, the JMPD was established and Minnaar was appointed as spokesman. “All officers went for training in crime prevention, including enforcing city by-laws.”

Following the announcement that Mzansi would host the 2010 World Cup, Minnaar said they knew the department needed a public-private partnership, which was approved by the city. “We needed sponsors to recruit and train young people to direct traffic and Outsurance came on board. By the time 2010 arrived, we were ready. That’s quite an achievement in my career,” he said.

“From the day I started, I have been committed and disciplined. I always enjoyed my job.”