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2023/05/30      |  Written By:  Colonel D Mdhluli   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 28 May 2023 - Operation 'Siyavutha' in Mpumalanga has begun with a bang as it was rolled out starting from Friday, 26 May 2023 and continued on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning (27 and 28 May 2023) with a sole purpose to deal decisively with levels of crime in the province. The operation was graced by the MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, MEC Vusi Shongwe and led by the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela.

The law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Siyavutha include officials from SAPS, Department of Home Affairs, POLSEC, Provincial Traffic, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Law Enforcement from Mbombela Municipality and Community Policing Forum (CPF).

It was during this hype of activities whereby notable successes were achieved, including the arrest of a minibus driver (27) who was nabbed on Friday, 26 May 2023 for unlawful possession of ammunition during stop-and-searches at the Roadblock along the N4 Road in Nelspruit. The taxi driver was reportedly ferrying commuters from Nelspruit heading to Gauteng when the astute members discovered two live ammunition inside a cooler box at the back of the kombi when a search was conducted.

Meanwhile on Friday as the formidable team continued with the operation along the N12 Road, they spotted a suspicious grey BMW heading towards Johannesburg direction. The vehicle was stopped then searched whereby two AK-47 rifles were found at the back seat of the car. The astute members immediately arrested the two men aged 41 and 43 respectively. Upon searching further inside the vehicle, members discovered 9 magazines loaded with ammunition for AK-47 rifle. The total number of ammunition confiscated at the scene is 266. Preliminary investigation has since revealed that the BMW was hijacked from its owner in Parktown (Gauteng Province) during the month of September 2021. It is further suspected that the two male suspects were possibly on a mission to commit crime when they were intercepted.

During the operation, a total number of 77 people were arrested for various charges ranging from murder, attempted murder, robbery, offences in relation to Gender-Based-Violence, unlawful possession of ammunition, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa, dealing in dagga and common assault.

Approximately 2385 persons and 815 cars were searched. 17 Tarverns in the Ehlanzeni District were visited by the team during the operation where about 1000 patrons were searched inside those liquor outlets. Several items were confiscated inside the visited liquor outlets, which include two knives (okappi's), three sachets of dagga and one plastic compressed with dagga. Two tarvens were further closed for non compliance. One person was arrested for selling liquor without a licence in Marite near Bushbuckridge on Saturday (27 May 2023).

The arrested suspects are expected to appear in various Magistrate's Courts across the province.

Meanwhile the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has appreciated the effort and commitment shown by all law enforcement agencies that participated in the operation. The General further thanked the media for the coverage of the operation.