Not one child was feeling blue on Wednesday when the families of police officers killed in the line of duty were treated to a Christmas party in Tshwane on Wednesday.
A total of 45 excited children and their loved ones were hosted at the local police academy where they were treated to a variety of games, fun on a jumping castle and face painting.
In a statement, police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said the children, all of whom had lost a caregiver within the last two years, were also treated to a Christmas lunch.
Among the guests were Petronella Hlongwane, 36, whose husband Constable Simon Hlongwane was killed in Brits, North West, in 2016 while attempting to stop a hijacking.
He was shot multiple times.
Hlongwane said her children - aged one, three and 11 - were "so happy to be here".
"I am equally elated and thankful that the organisation that my husband served has not forgotten about me and my children," she said.
'Father and mothers who paid the ultimate price'
Denise Naidoo, accompanied by her four children, is the widow of Warrant Officer Sascha Naidoo, who was speared to death while rushing to the aid of a woman who was stabbed in Madadeni last year.
She described the event as a "relaxing day" for her and her children.
"We are happy to see that the sacrifices that my husband made to serve his country were not in vain," she said.
The police's deputy national commissioner of human resource management Lieutenant General Bonang Mgwenya said the event was an opportunity for the police to pay their respects and keep the memory "of those who have died in the service of their communities" alive.
"We arranged this day for you to assure you that the SAPS will continue to support and care for you in the absence of your brave fathers and mothers, who paid the ultimate price while protecting and serving the people of South Africa," Mgwenya said.
He encouraged the young guests to work and study hard.
"Remember that the SAPS (South African Police Service) will continue to support you to achieve your goals and reach the dreams that you have and that your parents had for you," he said.