The annual Police Music and Culture Association (Polmusca) festival offers an element of balance to police officers during their hard and dangerous lives, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has said.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day festival - which will showcase police choirs from all nine provinces, along with other musical acts - in Pretoria on Thursday evening, Mbalula stressed that the lives of police officers were anything but easy.
"The work of the police is one that involves the heart. This work is reserved for those among us whose hearts are made and moulded for service to others," said Mbalula.
"Police see things the human eye should not see.
"At the end of it all, police are still human. We feel, we hurt, we stress, we worry, and we get anxious, and feel alone too. Our superhuman lives do not remove our human vulnerabilities.
"This is where associations like Polmusca are extremely important, beyond measure. Polmusca brings the balancing element into our hard daily lives."
Mbalula said it was through music and arts that South African Police Service members are able to reconnect with that which life intended.
"Humanity benefits in social harmony from the harmonic sounds of music and artistic creations that captivate the eye and mind."
He said that members of the police were encouraged to remember the other side of human life, and that police should connect as a family through sports, music and the arts, as a means to build a united organisation with tolerance.
"This event strengthens the fabric of the SAPS community and rewrites the history of this organisation in beautiful and melodic language."
Mbalula added that the festival also played a role in the demilitarisation of the police.
"Even though our work is about helping those in danger and in great need, we are not superhuman. I want us to relax, reconnect with our humanity and rekindle the human spirit, so that as we go out to fight criminals, we do so with relaxed spirits and minds."