SAPS honour Constable Phillips

On the left, Constable William Arnoldus and Sergeant Bongani Mbopa.

Sea Point SAPS held a memorial at both the police station and the Life Church on Main Road on Friday, May 13, in memory of Constable Donay Phillips who was shot in an incident at Somerset Hospital.

Constable Phillips, 32, was shot on Saturday May 7, by an ex-cop, Jean-Paul Malgas, 39. He died in the early hours of Sunday May 8.

Mr Malgas, a patient at the hospital, also killed two patients and is facing three counts of murder, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, one count of unlawful possession of ammunition, and one count of robbery.

Shane Phillips spoke steadily about his younger brother and how he navigated through life working as an artist, a graphic designer and a rapper before joining the SAPS training centre in Bishop Lavis in 2016.

“In 2017 he joined the Harare station in Khayelitsha and was fondly known as Philly by his colleagues. In 2020 he transferred to Sea Point and this would be his final home for the police service,” said Mr Phillips.

“Donay was very proud to be a policeman and absolutely loved his job, it was definitely what he wanted to do and one can say it was his calling. On a recent WhatsApp post with a picture of the police badge he had the following caption, ‘To some it this is just a star, to others it’s a family crest’. I think that sums up my brother’s attitude beautifully,” he said.

Constable William Arnoldus, a Manchester United fan, spoke of Constable Phillips’ love for Arsenal FC and the friendly rivalry they had, often having banter about their favourite teams and players.

“Philly always had time for a joke, he was a gentle soul to have at the station, always fun to be around, he didn’t have any expectations or requests and he lived by the blue code which states the following: the colour we bleed is that of deep blue, the blood we shed is without asking for who, no time to be afraid no time to cry, no choice in what we do where we go or when we die. The colour we bleed is that of deep blue, all too often you will pay the ultimate price, those who wear the uniform accept the sacrifice, beyond the call of duty one day might be mine, no regrets sorrow or fear as we walk the blue line,” he said.

Constable Arnoldus did a roll-call for those that worked the same shift as Constable Phillips, and when his name was called there was a sad silence.

Sergeant Bongani Mbopa made known that Constable Phillips was learning IsiXhosa and recalled the affection he had for his fiancée, Jodie Williams.

“Philly was so proud; he wore the uniform with such pride. If you saw how he looked you would know that this is a man of action. He was punctual and respectful, he was learning IsiXhosa and we shared a passion for sport and music and this made it easy to work with him,” said Sergeant Mbopa.

“Whenever he spoke of his fiancée his eyes lit up. You could see how in love this guy was even though he ‘complained’ of the loving voice notes she sent. He referred to her as the head office and would ask me to pull over just so he could listen and respond. He told me she was sent from God and he referred to her son as his own,”

“You know he was very handsome and ladies would throw themselves at him but he would refuse to exchange numbers, telling them he was a family man. That’s how he was.”

The motive for the murders is unknown but Sergeant Mbopa confirmed that Constable Phillips was at the hospital guarding a suspect. Mr Malgas is due to appear in court on Monday May 30.

Shane Phillips, the brother of the late Constable Donay Phillips.