Tricky case was well handled

Lee Granger, Observatory

This is a letter to express my gratitude to Woodstock police and particularly to Sergeant Melikhaya Nyandana and his team.

They came out to attend to a domestic-violence case and handled this not only with utmost professionalism but also compassion and understanding.

This case involved a person suffering from bipolar disorder who experienced a manic episode, which made him behave in a manner different to how he would usually.

He became unpredictable and dangerous.

This is not necessarily visible to those who don’t know him. But the police recognised the situation, spoke to him calmly and managed to take him to Groote Schuur Hospital for a psychiatric assessment without having to use physical force.

He is now in medical care and recovering.

The police did an excellent job, also assuring his family of the next steps and that everyone was going to be safe.

It is very important to alert the police when a person is experiencing a manic episode and share as many details as possible – that it is a medical condition; that the person is on treatment; or that there is a history of such episodes.

The police should be informed already when you place the call or go to the station and then explain again to the team that is dispatched.

It can get quite tricky as the person in a manic state seems calm and collected to others and it is difficult to see and assess the danger the person might pose to the family or themselves.

Sergeant Nyandana is an example to other police officers to always listen to and support the victim.

Thank you very, very much.