Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Two police officers from Nelspruit have been hailed as heroines after they went beyond the call of duty to assist a woman to give birth near the police station gate…

39-year-old Sergeant Itumeleng Motalane and 29-year-old Constable Tilane Lebitsa both stationed at Bethal SAPS assisted the woman on Monday 19 April.

A member of the public who was at the Community Service Centre to seek assistance, noticed a heavily pregnant woman walking near the police station crying for help. He then alerted Sergeant Motalane about the situation.

Motalane, who has four children of her own, along with her male colleagues, immediately dropped everything they were doing, rushed outside and found the 35-year-old woman with her husband as well as her sister.

The woman was screaming due to excruciating labour pains

Noticing that she was about to give birth, Motalane who at that time was joined by Constable Lebitsa, acted as midwives and assisted the woman deliver her fourth healthy baby boy.

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Sergeant Motalane reported for duty around 18:00 that evening when she was informed of a pregnant woman in extreme pain outside the station, her male colleagues told her she had to be the one to deliver the baby, “At that time, I had no hand gloves and there was no time to search for one as someone was in pain. I had to risk my life for the sake of the woman and the baby she was carrying.”

Motalane admitted she’d never been confronted with this type of challenge before as all four of her children were born in hospital.

“I told myself that I have to confront my fears and remedy the situation. After I helped the woman giving birth, she was in severe cold and was shivering. I then requested my colleague Constable Lebitsa to get a blanket from her room as she is staying at the police barracks,” said Motalane.

“I was so confused that I could not even hear the baby crying. My male colleagues who stood at a distance, were very happy and made screams ululating that the child was alive. That is when I started hearing the cries of the baby.”

Bethal hospital
Bethal hospital Image source: Supplied


Another challenge was the umbilical cord which linked the mother and the baby, and Motalane had no idea how to separate them. Thinking on her feet she Googled home birth information with specific reference to the umbilical cord.

“After sourcing information, I then succeed but had to rush to the CSC to search for something to tie it. Luckily I got a shoelace which I sanitized, tied the umbilical cord and at that time, we were waiting for an ambulance to arrive.”

With medical assistance yet to arrive, Motalane requested that Constable Lebitsa volunteer her bakkie so that the woman and baby could be taken to Bethal hospital.

Doctors declared both the mother and baby were fine on arrival at the hospital,  but the mother had bled profusely and had to be treated.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Services in Mpumalanga, Major General Thulani Phahla, said ” What brave soldiers we pride ourselves with. I really commend the members for going an extra mile in helping the woman to safely give birth to her baby. Police are often faced with strange and difficult situations but what we have realised is that, they are always equal to the task.”


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