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2023/11/14      |  Written By:  Captain A Botma   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 13 November 2023 - The South African Police Service (SAPS) Safer Festive Season: Operation Shanela in the Province yielded positive results when 583 suspects were arrested between Monday, 06 November and Sunday, 12 November 2023, for different offences. The arrested suspects included eight for possession of drugs, 14 for dealing in drugs, seven for rape, 91 for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), 35 for assault common, seven for murder, 26 for burglary at business and residential premises, 14 for malicious damage to property, 12 for driving under the influence of liquor. In addition, 78 suspected undocumented foreign nationals were taken in for processing by Immigration Officials.  

During the operations, 3 254 persons, 26 premises and 1 199 vehicles were searched.  The operation also led to the closure of 26 unlicensed liquor premises while 89 licensed liquor premises were inspected. Furthermore, the operations led to confiscations of liquor, a variety of drugs and seven dangerous weapons.  

In one of the operations conducted in Bojanala Platinum Sub-District (Rustenburg), members of the Rustenburg Flying Squad, Visible Policing and K9 Unit arrested five suspects, aged 22, 33,18, 46 and 34 on Friday, 10 November 2023, for possession of four firearms (three pellet guns and one special revolver) and  four ammunition. The suspects were arrested after members received and operationalised information regarding illegal possession of the firearms. The police cannot rule out the possibility of linking the suspects with business robberies committed in Rustenburg and surrounding areas. The  suspects expected to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrates’ Court soon on a charge of possession of firearms and ammunition.

In another unrelated operation conducted by the illicit mining team on Friday, 10 November 2023, 14 illegal miners were arrested in Stilfontein at Harties Shaft No. 5 for possession of gold bearing materials. All suspects; nine are Lesotho foreign nationals while five are from Mozambique and they are all facing charges relating to contravention of Section 49(1)(a) of the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) - entering or remaining in the Republic illegally.  All fourteen suspects are expected to appear today before the Stilfontein Magistrates’ Court.

The Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, thanked all members for putting their boots on the ground to ensure increased visibility during this period and that the police will continue to intensify efforts to fight crime in collaboration with all who live in South Africa.