Retired cop celebrates 83rd birthday

AFTER an illustrious 35-year career in the South African Police Service, having joined in 1956, Govindraj “Mike” Nagamuthoo of Allandale is in a reflective mood as he prepares he turns 83 today.

“I began my official service to the police force at Wentworth but wasn’t there for long before I was transferred to Overport until finally being transferred to Loop Street Police Station in 1966,” said Mike, who still recalls having to get used to the Pietermaritzburg chill when he moved here during winter.

Nagamuthoo said that it was in Pietermaritzburg where he worked for the Criminal Investigation Unit until he was moved to the political unit where he said he was never quite happy.

“I immediately wanted a transfer from the political unit and was eventually moved to Mountain Rise Police Station where I was promoted to a senior sergeant,” he said. He added that he was very happy but felt stagnant in his career after a while and requested a transfer to Cape Town where he eventually took early retirement back in 1992.

Nagamuthoo said he witnessed a lot of racism during apartheid but it did not stop him from doing his job.

“It was a very demeaning time to be an Indian police officer as we had to submit to a lot of racist remarks in certain areas but it never stopped me. I recall this one case I worked on where I caught a child molester who was abusing young boys. I remember catching him and then crossing his path again when he was released and caught again for the same offence,” said Nagamuthoo.

Nowadays, Mike wakes up early in the morning and goes out for a jog to keep healthy and also meditates to keep his mind strong. After recently travelling throughout Europe and the East with his wife, thanks to his daughter, Nagamuthoo said he has lived a good life since his retirement.
“I am happy to have reached this age, given my line of work.

“Many of my colleagues that I came up with through the ranks have passed away, which is saddening,” he said. Nagamuthoo plans on spending the morning with friends and the rest of the day with his family.