Management of the police in Gauteng have lauded the vigour with which all law enforcement role-players in the province responded to Buya Mthetho, an operational plan responding to the government’s clarion call and strategy to urgently address the surge of lawlessness, and to restore safety and ultimately reinstate public confidence in the law enforcement space.
Minister of Police Bheki Cele launched the strategy at Mehlareng Stadium on August 2.
At the launch of the stabilisation operation “Buya Mthetho”, the police conducted joint intelligence-driven operations across the province. These operations saw more than 656 suspects arrested for various serious crimes that include possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, drugs, hijacked vehicles and stolen property. The operation also saw 48 undocumented persons arrested.
In an intelligence-led operation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), six suspects were arrested at an illegal refinery in Ekurhuleni East, and tons of gold and other items related to contravention of the Precious Metal Act, Act 28 of 2002, were seized.
Four suspects, who are on the detectives’ list of the 50 most wanted persons, were successfully traced. They are linked to multiple cases that include rape, attempted rape, and other sexual offences. Goods with an estimated value of over R32-million were seized in the Johannesburg CBD alone, while nine shebeens were closed down in Tshwane West and Tembisa (Sethokga hostel), with an estimated volume of 5 000 litres of liquor worth about R200 000 also confiscated.
Twenty-six taxis were impounded in Tembisa, and 43 from two taxi ranks in Pretoria. A number of unroadworthy vehicles were also confiscated and a number of licences suspended.
Of equal significance, was the arrest of three male suspects whose ages range between 24 and 44 at an informal settlement in Germiston on Thursday August 2 after police stopped and searched a suspicious vehicle, finding an assault rifle (R-5), two magazines and over 70 live ammunition in the boot of the luxury sedan.
The three have been charged with possession of illegal firearm and ammunition pending further investigation by the Provincial Investigating Unit, for a possible linkage to other crimes.
All suspects are expected to appear in different courts in Gauteng in due course.
Gauteng provincial commissioner of police, Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange, commended the good work by the integrated law enforcement deployment.
“This ground-breaking Buya Mthetho strategy should not be seen as just another intervention or operation, but rather as a new way of fighting crime in Gauteng as criminals become more sophisticated and brazen by the day. The operational successes of the past 36 hours should give impetus to the resolve to bring crime down to its lowest levels,” De Lange said.
De Lange further emphasised that maintaining and managing integration efforts by all law enforcement agencies in Gauteng was central to making sure that the residents of the province feel safe and secure.
Cele appealed to the community to help to identify criminals.“As we celebrate Women’s Month, we will fight hard to protect women. We will make sure that no one takes advantage of women, and that women are regarded as human beings. Women are just not there to provide a satisfaction for men. They are full flesh human beings and must be respected and treated as such by all of us.”
Cele appealed to law enforcement agencies to act harshly against incidents of women abuse in the province.
The launch of Buya Mthetho was endorsed by the national commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, City of Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina and City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba, among other dignitaries.