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Festive season operations in Limpopo net 26806 suspects

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe joined by the SAPS top management held a media briefing on Friday 6 January 2023 at the Provincial Commissioner’s Boardroom to update the people of Limpopo about the tremendous impact and successes achieved since the joint festive season operations conducted since 1 October 2022 that resulted in the arrest of twenty six thousand, eight hundred and six (26806) suspects.

The successes included a significant increase in the number of arrests for crimes such as murder, robbery, rapes, assaults, carjackings, unlawful possession of firearms, dealing in drugs and illicit cigarettes, illegal mining, arson, malicious damage to properties, possession of suspected stolen properties, non-compliance with liquor Act regulations including drinking in public to Contravention of the illegal immigration Act.

Amongst these suspects, 202 were arrested for murder, 303 for rape and sexual assaults and 4559 for Contravention of the Immigration Act.

During these operations, 69 firearms and 233 ammunition were recovered. Moreover, 701 knives, 568 dangerous weapons, 103 robbed/stolen motor vehicles, 5,016,628 sticks of counterfeit cigarettes and large amount of liquor were confiscated. In total, 1192 suspects were arrested for drug related crimes such as Heroin, Crystal Meth, Kat and Nyaope, totalling to a street value of R 5 079-000.

As part of enforcement on the Liquor Act, 1989,(Act No. 27 of 1989) 5301 individuals were fined for drinking in public while 513 illegal liquor outlets were shut down.

The Provincial Commissioner highlighted that the milestone success demonstrates the police’ commitment to delivering service excellence to every part of our community through dedicated and skilled officers who value their work, many of whom are selflessly committed to serve the community.

“Our Organised Crime Unit has been hard at work in hunting down syndicates dealing in drugs within the Province and they busted syndicates operating in Matlerekeng and Waterberg,” said the General.

As she continued, The Provincial Commissioner said “The public expectations from the police can only be fulfilled if they are satisfied with the integrity, professionalism and promptness in the services rendered by police members from police stations. Hence, we will be beefing up police stations with more members and resources, including the deployment of over 849 newly trained Constables.

The successes also included an increase in the number of arrests and convictions for high profile cases that include the following:

■ A 32-year-old man was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend’s 11-year-old daughter in Burgersfort in 2021.

■Two life sentences imposed on a double murder accused, David Matjila (45) in Burgersfort. The accused stabbed and killed his girlfriend (34) and her son (02) at their home.

■The arrest of two highly wanted suspects and the recovery of firearms and ammunition. The suspects were involved in a spate of murders, robberies, rapes and burglaries committed in the Vhembe District.

■ The disruptive operations as Police clamped down on illegal miners in Driekop and confiscated mining equipment worth thousands of rands. Four suspects were arrested during the multi-disciplinary operations.

■ The arrest of a 37-year-old suspect believed to be part of a gang of criminals sought for serious and violent crimes in the Sekhukhune District. The suspect was terrorising communities with robberies around Dennilton, Matlerekeng including Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga. Police recovered one firearm, 64 live ammunition amongst others.

■ The heroic act of an off-duty Police Sergeant attached to Mutale SAPS whose reaction led to the arrest of one suspect following an incident of house robbery at his house. Three unknown armed suspects entered his house and demanded money. The Sergeant was shot on his shoulder but managed to crawl and get his Service pistol and shot one of the suspects who was later arrested by the police. He was found in possession of the robbed goods from the Police Officer’s house. The suspect later succumbed to the injuries.

■ The swift arrest of a 47-year-old suspect accused of raping an 85-year-old woman at his home in Dennilton. The suspect threatened the victim with a knife, raped and robbed her of an undisclosed amount of money. Police recovered the cellphone belonging to the victim during the arrest.

■ Lastly, the recent arrest of an alleged serial rapist after he was positively linked to 7 rape cases. The 33-year-old suspect was arrested at the Tzaneen CBD by the members of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit putting to a stop his reign of terror in the Bolobedu and Tzaneen, where he raped and robbed women of their valuables including those found hitchhiking on the R37 road on the way to Phalaborwa and Giyani. In one of the incidents, the suspect hacked the victim with a panga. We are confident that the suspect we will be able to link the suspect with more cases.

When considering how these successes have been achieved, it is more and apparent that community involvement plays an increasingly important role in the fight against crime. The critical and important work done by Community Policing Forums as well as ordinary citizens who report crime in their communities is invaluable. This is because I believe firmly that when crime is committed someone, somewhere has the information that can help police arrest the perpetrators” Concluded Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe.

SAPS Newsroom

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