LATHAM, New York -- Two South African police officers will attend the New York State Police's world-renowned homicide seminar Sept. 12-17, 2009, at the New York State Police Academy in Albany, N.Y., thanks to the New York National Guard.

Director Khombuyise Christian Chili, the head of the organized crime office of the Eastern Cape province, and Director Ntebo Jan Mabula, head of the detective service for the Northwest province, are being sponsored at the 22nd annual Col. Henry F. Williams Homicide Seminar through the National Guard's State Partnership Program.

Since 2003 the New York National Guard has conducted exchange visits and conducted training for Republic of South Africa military forces and civilian agencies. The program's goal is to build relationships between South Africa and the United States militaries and civilian officials too.

The South African police officers' attendance at the Homicide Seminar was sparked by a visit to New York from South African Deputy Minister for Safety and Security Susan Shabangu in September 2008. She expressed an interest in getting South African police officers enrolled in American law enforcement training programs.

"We're extremely pleased to be able to offer this unique experience to our South African Partners thanks to the cooperation of the New York State Police," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto, the Adjutant General of New York. "Their participation will further the already positive relations between South Africa, New York and the United States," he said.

The National Guard State Partnership Program was established in 1993 in response to the radically changed political-military situation following the collapse of Communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The program's goals reflect an evolving international affairs mission for the National Guard, to promote security cooperation in support of Homeland Defense and Civil Support Missions.

Today, 43 U.S. states, two territories, and the District of Columbia are partnered with 51 countries around the world. The New York State partnership with South Africa is one of the leading engagements in sub-Sahara Africa for the United States. In August of this year, Liberia requested a National Guard state partner and Kenya is expected to follow with a partner state in 2010.

Partnerships are created through discussions among countries, ministers of defense, the U.S. ambassador, regional combatant commanders, adjutants general, governors and the chief of the National Guard Bureau, which administers the SPP.

Page last updated Tue September 15th, 2009 at 00:13