Comrade Zizamele Cebekhulu grew up in Kwazulu-Natal and joined the then South African Police in 1983. After completing his training at Hammanskraal, he was posted to Witbank before being transferred to Standerton.
The unfair, inequitable environment in which he worked caused him to question the many injustices. Also, his exposure to political detainees in the late 1980s clarified his vision and ideological outlook. Together with Cde Themba Matsane and a handful of other Police Officers, Cde Cebekhulu established the Standerton branch of POPCRU soon after the founding of the organisation. The branch became instrumental in the rapid growth of the union in the then Eastern Transvaal. Cde Cebekhulu was the First Chairperson of the Standerton Branch and later the Eastern Transvaal Region (now Mpumalanga Province).
He was elected the National President of POPCRU at the 1996 Kroonstad Special Congress and has since been re-elected to the position, most recently in 2015.
Cde Nkosinathi Mabhida grew up in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, joined the South African Police in 1988, completed his training in 1989 and started working at Johannesburg Police Station. Living in appalling conditions at the George Goch barracks. It was during this time when he started displaying his leadership qualities when he led a group of Police Officers who were staying in these Barracks, to challenge SAP management and boycotted the catering services. He was subsequently transferred against his will to the East Rand Area. His militancy forced the authorities to transfer him in 1993 once more to Pietermaritzburg wherein within a reasonable time in 1997 was elected Midlands Branch Deputy ChairpersonHis skilled ability to organise diverse constituent brought about sustained stability in the Province, which threatened to thwart the Union leadership from within. His sharp analytical capabilities resonated into cohesive leadership growth; as a result he was co-opted as the Provincial Chairperson of the interim structure (1999). In 2001 he was overwhelmingly elected KZN Provincial Chairperson. His organic understanding of mass work rooted the organisation into a beacon of hope amongst rank and file members. Cde Nathi was once more trusted with the organisational mandate in 2004 by being re-elected as the KZN Chairperson.
Cde Bonny Marekwa was born in Kimberley and joined the local SAPS in 1991. After completing her training at Hammanskraal in June 1992, she worked at the Kimberley Police Station. She later joined the Kimberley Crime Prevention Unit/ Sector Policing, before joining the Crime Intelligence Provincial Nodal Point in 2000. In 2004 she took up a post in the Crime Information Analysis Centre. In all the areas of her work she always ensured that her colleagues were treated with respect by managers and commanders.
Cde Wilson Tyuthuza recruited Cde Marekwa into POPCRU in 1993. She actively participated in union activities before becoming a Shop Steward in 1995. In 1996 she served as Deputy Secretary in the Provincial interim Gender Structure. These structures were implemented in preparation for the first POPCRU National Gender Conference in 1997 Cde Marekwa was elected to the position of Deputy Secretary for the then Diamond Field Branch in 1996. From 1997 to 1999 she served as Deputy Secretary for the Kimberley Branch.
Cde Nkosinathi Theledi was born in Middleburg and grew up in Limpopo, then Lebowa. He worked in various construction companies in Middleburg and KwaZulu Natal before joining the Department of Correctional Services in Witbank in 1986. The unfair treatment of his colleagues, particularly those who were African, and cruelty to the political detainees caused him to object.
His resistance saw him immediately transferred to the college in Cullinan. After undergoing basic training he was forced to remain at Correctional Services Training College because the authorities in Witbank did not want him back. He remained at the college until 1993 when he was transferred to Zonderwater Management Area in Cullinan. Cde Theledi joined POPCRU in 1990 and held a number of leadership positions including Institutional Secretary of Zonderwater in 1991. At that time he took part in provincial negotiations within SAPS and DCS.
He was later elected the Regional Secretary of the Pretoria Region in 1993, a position he held until the combination of Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Vaal regions to form Gauteng Province in 1995. He became the Provincial Coordinator of Gauteng in 1996 and in 1997 he was called to POPCRU National Office to lead national negotiations. In 2000 he was called back to POPCRU National Office as Head of Department: Collective Bargaining, where he coordinated collective bargaining activities within the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC), Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) and the General Public Service Sectoral Bargaining Council (GPSSBC).
Cde Lawrence Rankele Msinto is born in the Free State in a small town called Odendaalsrus. He grew up in the farming area in the vicinity of Welkom and Odendaalsrus. He attended his primary school at Marobe Primary at Kutlwanong in Odendaalsrus and proceeded to Rearabetswe Senior Secondary school where he matriculated in 1990.
He joined the South African Police Services in 1994 and he immediately joined POPCRU after realising the challenges of racism and the brutal system of apartheid during that time and a year later he was elected a shopsteward. After completing his basic training he was placed at a small station in Viljoesnsdrift SAPS in the former Area North and later transferred to Thabong in Welkom where he worked most of his career as a Community Policing Officer.
In 1998 Cde, Msinto was elected as a branch treasurer of POPCRU in the then Northern Free State. The played a pivotal role in establishing the structures of POPCRU in institutions and ensured that the membership is growing and remain united under those difficult times.
Comrade Nomalanga Betty Mabokela was born in a small town called Mooidorpie, Itsoseng in the North West Province. She did her Primary and completed her Matric [Grade 12] at Bophirima High School in Itsoseng and further obtained a Diploma in Business at the Tertiary level. She is currently pursuing studies in Human Resources Management.
She joined the South African Police Service [SAPS] in Delareyville in 2003 and immediately joined the ranks of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union – POPCRU. She became an active member where she advocated for the rights of employees in the department and her active involvement in the workers’ struggles led to her election in 2004 as the Deputy Institutional Secretary.
Her political career grew in leaps and bounds when she became an active member of COSATU, SACP and the ANC.
Cde Thulani Nsele joined POPCRU in 1992 despite threats of dismissal directed at anyone who joined POPCRU at the time. He worked as a Police Officer in Mpumalanga and was elected Treasurer in 2013.