Giyani View

SAPS Celebrates The First Female Qualified Commercial Helicopter Pilot in Limpopo Province

By Staff Reporter

As the country approaches the end of  women’s month, the South African police service in Limpopo celebrates yet another phenomenal woman.

Warrant Officer Tebogo Francis Mamogale of the SAPS Polokwane Air Wing, affectionately known as “Francis”, the former SAPS Wonderboom Air-hostess”, is the only female qualified commercial helicopter pilot in the Limpopo province. 

Mamogale was born and bred from the Northwest province 32 years ago in a small village of Jericho, but she currently hails in Limpopo. She is a mother to two boys aged 9 and 19 months. 

She joined the South African police service in December 2008, as an air-hostess in the SAPS Wonderboom, Pretoria. 

She catered for delegates in the SAPS including, the ministers flying in police jets and ensured that her passengers are safe and well taken care of during their official trips. 

She later enrolled for a diploma in safety management as she reckons, safety comes first in aviation. 

Her passion for aviation grew even bigger, and later in the journey, she started pursuing a career in becoming a pilot. The determined and vibrant Mamogale, never gave up and kept aiming high even when for a period of two years she could not get a bursary but kept her head held up as she persistently kept on applying. 

In 2015, her bursary was finally approved and without looking back, she studied hard until she completed her studies and was appointed a qualified commercial helicopter pilot the following year. 

She was then transferred to the SAPS air wing in Limpopo province in 2017, where she is currently based. She now has full responsibility of ensuring the safe operation of the police helicopter and it’s air crew during airborne operations. 

Her daily duties include giving her fellow ground police members air-support and a clear indication of what they want assistance with, especially during search operations for missing persons, hidden goods and of wanted suspects, without compromising the safety of the aircrew (pilot and aleo). 

Mamogale, a proud product of the South African police service said it gives her great pleasure each time when a mission is accomplished, and if they fail today, tomorrow is definitely another day to push even harder.  

She encourages other women to push hard even in situations that seem impossible because no matter how tough it may look, it is still possible. She also obtained a diploma in travel and tourism in 2009, after she completed a course in air hostess. 

“The greatest rewards come when you give yourself. It is about bettering the lives of others, being part of something bigger than yourself, and making a POSITIVE difference”, Mamogale added. 

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