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2023/06/12      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel S Kock   |   Province:  Northern Cape

KIMBERLEY : 12 June 2023 : The high density operation dubbed- "Operation Shanela" continues to net successes in the Northern Cape with the apprehension and arrest of 88 suspects for various criminal offences during the period 8 to 11 June 2023. Police in the five districts namely Pixley Ka Seme, Frances Baard, Namakwa, ZF Mgcawu and John Taolo Gaetsewe focused on  increased and enhanced blue light patrols, stop and searches, roadblocks, tracing operations, random vehicle check points, proliferation of firearms, drugs, GBVF, compliance inspections, stock theft and property related crimes.

Police across the province with senior managers leading the ground forces, searched 209 premises, 3828 persons, stopped 1327 motor vehicles, visited 125 liquor outlets , executed 1581 patrols, conducted compliance inspections at 469 premises and visited 653 informal business premises.

A synopses of the successes included the following  highlights from the 5 districts : In the ZF Mgcawu district, in Upington two males were arrested by Upington K9 unit and Border Police after executing two search and seizure operations at two premises  and seized drugs worth about R710 000-00.

In the Frances Baard district , two suspects were arrested for possession of drugs after Kimberley Flying Squad followed up on leads and found Tik, Nyope and dagga worth approximately R70 000-00 at two different locations in Jan Kempdorp and Hartswater.

In Pixley Ka Seme District,  the Provincial SAPS Organized Crime unit,  Detectives and De Aar Crime Intelligence,  Prieska Home Affairs, De Aar Flying Squad, Public Order Policing and K9 operationalised information and arrested 8 foreign nationals who were  allegedly illegally utilizing SASSA pension cards of community members.

The teams raided several businesses in Strydenburg, Niekerkshoop and  Barkly West areas and confiscated SASSA cards, banks cards and seized Identity Documents found at wholesalers, shops and at ATM's. All suspects were charged for being in contravention of the National Credit Act 34/2005.

In the Namakwa District the Springbok POPS and K9 unit pounced on 5 suspects in two separate incidents in Buffelsrivier and Kommagas and confiscated a large amount of Mandrax, Tik and Dagga.The teams also searched the Springbok hostels for illegal immigrants, drugs, illegal firearms and stolen goods.

One firearm was also retrieved in Witdraai after the  suspect was arrested after shooting a male victim and was charged for House Breaking and theft, attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm.

In the John Taolo Gaetsewe District some police actions included a community outreach by the Kathu Social Crime prevention at the Kathu dumping site where the  members engaged with public living at the dumps.

In the  Frances Baard District, multi-disciplinary operations were executed by operational and support personnel attached to Provincial Components with assistance  of the Municipal Traffic Department,  Home Affairs and the Sol Plaatje Security department.

The Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Policing, Maj Gen Luntu Ngubelanga was overall in command during raids at taxi ranks, visits to liquor outlets, shopping malls and complexes and hot spot areas in the greater Kimberley. During a stop and search action in Kimberley, one suspect was arrested after police found him in possession of 74 kg of alleged stolen copper he was pushing in a trolley.

Numerous other successes included the  confiscation large amounts of homebrewed concoctions and liquor, dagga, cash, dangerous weapons.   Various alleged stolen goods were also retrieved at the taxi ranks.

The increased boots on the ground  and enhanced police visibility is squeezing the space for criminals to operate and these disruptive operations are ongoing and  focus will remain  on the proliferation illegal firearms, drug trafficking, damage to and tampering of essential infrastructure, GBVF and property related crimes.

And SAPS will continue to stamp down the authority of the state.