Child protection head succumbs to long illness

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is mourning the passing of Major General Bafana Linda, the component head of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations (FCS).
National Police Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola, in a statement on Tuesday described Linda’s passing as a “great loss” to the organisation’s detective environment.
Linda passed away on Tuesday after a long-term illness.
Masemola said the senior officer, with 36 years’ service, “was an exemplary detective and a champion for justice for GBVF victims”.
“He was a greatly respected detective, who was devoted to the call of serving, protecting and securing lengthy convictions for crimes against women, children and vulnerable groups,” said Masemola.
Linda joined the service in 1986 as a student constable and worked his way up the ranks to the level of Major General in 2016, when he was appointed to serve as the Deputy Provincial Commissioner (DPC) for Crime Detection in Limpopo.
In 2018, he was transferred to oversee all the SAPS 176 FCS and nine Serial and Electronic Crime Investions (SECI) units as National Component Head: Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations.
With a B-tech degree in Forensic Investigation, Linda investigated several high profile cases, including that of convicted child serial rapist, Fanwell Khumalo, who was sentenced to 42 life sentences for 38 rapes and four attempted rapes in the Johannesburg High Court in 2004.
Khumalo, a former chef who used to cater for visiting Hollywood stars at Gold Reef City, was arrested on 7 March 2001 by a team led by Linda, who was the investigation officer.
Amongst the various accolades and achievements bestowed upon him, Linda was awarded the National Commissioner’s certificate of commendation for outstanding service in 2016.
“The organisation has lost one of its highly decorated, celebrated and dedicated detectives, who put the women, children and men of this country first through his dedication of serving. He was a man who understood his calling and remained committed to providing closure for victims and survivors of GBVF related crimes.
“His passing will be felt by all those who served with him and the victims and the families of the victims he assisted,” said Masemola.
Masemola thanked Linda for his service to the nation and for tirelessly pursuing suspects and meticulously solving cases to ensure justice prevails.
Source: South African Government News Agency