City appoints first female assistant chief in Law Enforcement

Marilyn Holding

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate has appointed the Law Enforcement Department’s first female assistant chief, Marilyn Holding. Holding, who also creates wedding gowns in her spare time, took up the position at the beginning of September.

After a few months acting in the position, Assistant Chief Marilyn Holding is now officially responsible for the Liquor and Vice, and Metals Theft Units within the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate.

‘The directorate is proud of Assistant Chief Holding’s achievements and she has moved successfully into a leadership position where women are underrepresented. We encourage women to apply for leadership positions where they meet the criteria. There are no positions unattainable and I commend Ms Holding for her dedication and perseverance,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

Ms Holding started as a patrol officer in the City in 2000 and steadily worked her way through the ranks.

‘When I started at the City I had a plan to improve and empower myself. I planned to study, work hard and work with integrity. I wanted people to associate my name with honesty, hard work, integrity and being someone who is approachable and dependable. I hope I’ve achieved that.’

In 2010, she obtained her first position as inspector, followed by principal inspector and then regional inspector. Ms Holding was seconded to Acting Assistant Chief to the Liquor and Vice unit in 2016.

In 2018 Ms Holding was appointed as Acting Assistant Chief for Area South while still being responsible for the Liquor and Vice and Alcohol Harms Reduction project in Khayelitsha.

Some of her other achievements include obtaining her N5-N6 at Protea College for Designing, a Btech Degree in Policing at UNISA, and a variety of awards and commendations.

Ms Holding said while a career in law enforcement wasn’t easy, it was rewarding.

‘You need to have a passion for law enforcement. When you do you will enjoy waking up, going to work and take on each day as it comes. Then you can handle whatever is thrown at you,’ she said.

It’s not all work. She’s also a mother and grandmother and when she’s not in uniform, she reads, listens to music and creates and sews bridal and evening gowns.

‘Seeing the raw fabric and turning it into something spectacular brings me joy. The beading and lacework is intricate and requires detail and commitment. It’s a reflection of my work ethic and I am always striving for excellence,’ explained Ms Holding.