Police in the Northern Cape have arrested 173 suspects for an array of crimes through Operation Shanela.
The suspects were nabbed for crimes including illicit dealing in liquor, dealing in drugs, robberies, murder, attempted murder, housebreaking and theft, malicious damage to property, assault common and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Undocumented persons were also part of those arrested during the weekly police operations.
The operations were conducted from Thursday until Sunday, and included stop and searches, vehicle checkpoints (VCPs), roadblocks, high visibility patrols, foot patrols, the tracing of wanted suspects, compliance inspections at liquor outlets, tuck shops, businesses, second hand goods dealers, scrap yards, visits to formal and informal businesses and farms and awareness campaigns.
Numerous vehicle check points and roadblocks were conducted in all five districts of the province, during which 1 601 vehicles and 2 499 persons were stopped and searched. Shopping malls and complexes as well as taxi ranks were patrolled to increase visibility in the hot spot areas.
Detectives traced and arrested 119 daily wanted suspects for failing to attend court appearances
During the operations, thousands of litres of alcoholic beverages, cash, drugs such as crystal meth (tik), dagga and dagga plants were seized.
As part of the Safer Schools Programme, South African Police Service (SAPS) members visited schools, and addressed learners and educators on safety issues.
The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola, accompanied by the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, visited a rural school on Thursday in the Mothibistad policing precinct, where they handed over school shoes and goodie bags to the learners.
Otola thanked all SAPS members and external role players, including community policing forum structures, for their relentless efforts to fight crime.
Police in Berea, in KwaZulu-Natal, have opened cases of impersonating a police officer, possession of drugs and fraud against a 38-year-old foreign national on Vause Road in Musgrave on Saturday.
The suspect was also found in possession of rock cocaine and a fraudulent police identification card.
The police were executing their crime prevention duties when they stopped and searched the man.
A subsequent search at his place of residence on Okleigh Drive led to the recovery of fraudulent fishing permits, more fraudulent police identification cards, fraudulent refugee asylum work permits, a police date stamp, as well as 15 rounds of ammunition.
A computer and other equipment, believed to have been used in the production of fraudulent documents, were seized for further investigation.
The suspect is expected to appear in court today.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Nomthetheleli Mene, has commended the swift and decisive action by police officers in response to a shooting of a prominent attorney in Vincent, East London, on Friday.
Their immediate mobilisation and relentless pursuit resulted in the arrest of five suspects.
It is alleged that on Friday, at about 09:48, the attorney had parked his car and was about to enter his office when two suspects approached him and fired several shots, injuring him in his upper body. He was taken to hospital for treatment.
While police were still at the crime scene, East London Crime Intelligence was already hard at work gathering crucial information.
Within an hour and with the assistance of the Buffalo City Metro (BCM) District Detective Coordinator, their efforts led to the discovery of the silver Mercedes Benz getaway vehicle in Amalinda.
A 42-year-old male was arrested swiftly, when a second vehicle, a Renault Clio, was spotted at a complex on the beachfront.
Observation duties were held while waiting for back-up from the Flying Squad, East London Serious and Violent Crimes Unit and SAPS Cambridge Crime Prevention members.
Another two suspects, aged 35 and 41 years, were arrested while attempting to flee in a bus bound for Durban. The bus was stopped in Mthatha by members from the Mthatha Serious and Violent Crimes Unit.
At about 04:00 on Saturday morning, a further two suspects (ages unknown) were arrested at a house in Westville, Durban.
Two firearms were recovered at a house in Quigney. They will be sent to ballistics for testing.
All five suspects are detained on charges of attempted murder. The motive is still under investigation. The suspects are expected to appear in court soon. Additional charges may be added as the investigation unfolds.
Mene congratulated all the officers involved for their professionalism, bravery and dedication to duty.
“The team (BCM District Detective Coordinator, East London Crime Intelligence, East London and Mthatha Serious and Violent Crimes Unit, SAPS Cambridge and East London Flying Squad), led by experienced officers, showcased exceptional coordination and teamwork.
“Such exemplary work underscores our unwavering commitment to apprehending those responsible for this heinous act. Due to the sensitive nature of the case, we cannot disclose further details at this time,” Mene said.