South Africa has been plagued with serious and violent crimes

Police Minister Bheki Cele addresses dignitaries at Mehlareng Stadium on August 2.

We are gathered here today with the entire top management of the police to launch the stabilisation operation Buya Mthetho in this province.

We are literally calling for a complete shutdown of the criminal underworld and all crime infested areas in Gauteng. We say Thuma Mina.

The scourge of cash-in-transit robberies has become a topical matter in the last three months during May, June and July.

South Africa has been plagued with serious and violent crimes, particularly aggravated robberies, which have instilled fear and terror in our innocent, vulnerable and law-abiding citizens.

You may recall that, following an unprecedented spate of attacks on cash in transit (CIT) vehicles in May this year, the national commissioner of police (General Khehla Sitole) and myself pronounced on nationwide stabilisation interventions to curb and do away with serious crimes, particularly CIT Robberies.

During that press conference, I have promised the nation that I will provide feedback on the status of the operations.

Here we are, six weeks later since the pronouncement, I can report that we have made significant inroads in breaking the backs of the syndicates involved in CIT robberies. While I am satisfied with the progress, our fight with these criminals is not yet over.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, in his speech, urges communities and the police to cooperate to curb the scourge of crime.

Let me take this opportunity to also highlight that during an operation in the Tembisa area over these past 36 hours, significant successes were yielded.

A total of 84 suspects were arrested. This includes four suspects out of the top 15 who were arrested for rape and murder.

The South African Police Service remains committed to ensuring that people in South Africa are – and feel safe – as outlined in the National Development Plan 2030. Not only do we want to ensure that people are – and feel safe – but we also want to ensure an environment conducive for an effective and efficient Grand Economic Strategy of the country. If the economy of our country flourishes, then we can expect that crime will drop.

Our SAPS members from all disciplines have been working around the clock to stamp the authority of the State and take on criminals toe to toe.

These men and women in blue put their lives on the line daily to realise the objectives of these operational interventions.

The killing of our police members on and off-duty continues to remain a huge concern to the management of the SAPS. The safety of our men and women in blue remains high on the agenda of the SAPS and is at the heart of the SAPS’s strategic imperatives. The management of the SAPS has also identified several strategies, including the review of the National Police Safety Strategy, to ensure that its members are safe. This strategy is in line with the Turnaround Vision strategy of the police as well as the National Development Plan Vision 2030 which seeks to address activities relating to attacks, murders and unnatural deaths of police officials.

We are well aware that we can have many police safety initiatives and plans in place, but it will never succeed if we don’t have the buy-in and cooperation of our communities. Today we are appealing to everyone on all levels of society, to stand together with the South African Police Service and to stop the ruthless criminals who threaten the stability and peace in our country. Our members are our most precious asset and without them, there will be no police service.

As we continue with this approach to stabilise the crime situation in our country, we urge young and old to become actively involved in the fight against crime, and to support and assist the police and other law enforcement agencies in all their crime-fighting endeavors and to report any criminal activities to the police. Information can be provided to a local police station or to our Crime Stop number 08600 10111. I also want to make a clarion call to our SAPS members to work very closely with members of the community for us to realise the desired support from all sectors of society.

  AUTHOR
Malebo Tseke
Journalist

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