The initiative was well received by both residents and visitors.
Margate has seen some new officers patrolling the streets.
The only difference is that instead of two legs and a badge, they have four legs and a saddle.
Margate station commander, Brigadier William Slabbert requested the presence of Lieutenant-Colonel Sithole and his dream team of mounted police to patrol Margate during the festive season.
Known as the PMB Mounties, these mounted police were called upon by Margate Saps to improve crime prevention and enforce Covid-19 protocols.
In fact, they enjoyed having them around so much that they even suggested that Margate has its own unit of mounted police.
The unit consists of one Friesian and five Boerperd horses.
Both breeds are suitable for riders, with sufficient stamina and a calm temperament which make them ideal for patrolling.
The horses are bred and trained at the Saps Mounted Academy in Potchefstroom.
According to Lt-Col Sithole, horses allow for easier access to areas where vehicles are often restricted.
For instance, they spent time patrolling the Margate CBD and the taxi rank which are usually congested.
This was much needed as Margate is an entertainment hub for both locals and visitors, especially during the busy holiday season.
The attempt was well received by residents and holidaymakers, who would often stop to admire and pet the horses.
Lt-Col Sithole explained that it was much easier to maneuver through busy areas like the taxi rank, so that they could enforce the law while reminding people to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.
While patrolling, the horses move slower so that officers can survey the surrounding areas better.
For instance, he said that while patrolling through Margate, they were able to look into people’s houses and yards for any suspicious activity or potential burglaries.
He further explained that while the horses may look intimidating, the public should not be afraid. Instead, they should be at ease knowing the horses are well-trained in public interaction.
He said the public must understand that horses are more convenient than a vehicle and it makes police and public interaction more sociable.
Lt-Col Sithole also stated that it aids crime prevention because they are immersed within the crowd and easily accessible to the public, which makes reporting a crime more efficient.
The PMB Mounties stayed at the Palm Kloof Equestrian Estate where they were cared for during their time in Margate.
They returned home on Monday this week.
However, Lt-Col Sithole said that they would gladly be back if the station commander calls for them again.
Article written by: Danielle Naidoo
Photo credit: Tebuho Zongwana