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Covid-19 claims SAPD head in Middelburg

The community of Middelburg in the Eastern Cape is mourning the death of acting station commander of the local SAPD offices, Captain Andrew Leslie (53).

He passed away last night just after 21:00 in the local Wilhelm Stahl provincial hospital.

Captain Andrew Leslie and his wife Colette
Captain Andrew Leslie and his wife Colette. Photo: Supplied

The local police offices had been relocated temporarily only days before after it had come to light that Leslie had tested positive for Covid-19.

According to Leslie’s wife, Colette, he started complaining of a high fever last week Monday evening. A local physician visited him at home the following day and performed a Covid-19 test. By the time the results came back positive on Friday, Leslie’s condition had worsened considerably.

“He complained of body aches and a sore throat, and he also started coughing,” Colette told Komani-Karoo Express.

“Over the weekend he just got sicker, but he didn’t want to go to the hospital. On Monday I finally convinced him to go to the hospital just to get some oxygen, because he had been turning blue around the mouth. The doctor on duty finally decided to summon an ambulance from Bloemfontein. I was not allowed to stay with him while they treated him in the Covid-19 isolation ward, and we waited outside in the parking lot.

"I later took his urgent diabetic medication and told them what he needed to eat. He was also suffering from chronic high blood pressure The doctor called us in just after 21:00 and informed us that Andrew had passed away after his lungs had collapsed. The ambulance only arrived after he had already succumbed.”

Leslie grew up in Middelburg. He matriculated at the Middellande High School in Midros and was busy completing his studies in BA Police Science with Unisa.

According to Donald Smiles, a resident of Midros and Leslie's former teacher, he was a quiet, private and hardworking person.

“Andrew had been a great rugby player back in the day, and we were very proud of the way he was climbing the police ranks because he was such a disciplined man,” Smiles said.

Captain Leslie leaves behind his wife Colette, a daughter (12) and a son (23).

Tributes to Captain Leslie started pouring in on Facebook shortly after news of his parting became known.

“We grew up next to each other in the dusty streets of Midros,” wrote Leon van Heerden on the Middelburg Cape SpeakOut Facebook page.

“When he took up a post of a police officer, I admired him. I started to dream. I dreamt of the day that I will be a police officer and make a difference in someone's life. But that choice comes with a tag. Today was your last shift at Middelburg SAPS. We are all quiet yet we know that you gave your final salute to the community of Middelburg EC. The very community you served tirelessly for the past years.

"I salute you, Captain Andrew Leslie. May your soul rest in eternal peace. Condolences to your family and loved ones. May God console your hearts. Middelburg is weeping…”

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