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Speaker Notes by the Police Minister General Bheki Cele at the occasion of the release of SAPS Safer Festive Season report hosted in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal


Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale;
National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Sithole;
Deputy National Commissioner, Lt General Masemola
Divisional Commissioners presentKZN Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Jula;
SAPS Senior Management;
Members of the Media;

Ladies and Gentlemen, our gathering here today is informed by our selfless response to the constitutional mandate as directed in Section 205 to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the republic and their property, and to uphold and to enforce the law.

This is further reaffirmed by the founding principles of the ruling party of ensuring that our approach to governance is anchored in the communities we serve. Our concerted efforts of building partnerships and working together with communities and stakeholders in the fight against crime; is exactly what makes the festive season report of the Police, to be a good story to tell.


Ladies and gentlemen when South Africans were on a joyous holiday season; all men and women in blue worked tirelessly over the festive period, to ensure that all festivities are carried out within the parameters of the law. It is on that score that I want to take this opportunity and again thank all members of the SAPS for always responding positively when duty calls.

Operational plans were put in place to ensure there are more boots on the ground, especially on weekends and around areas where alcohol consumption is high.

Police were out in their numbers conducting patrols, stop and search operations, cordon and searches and roadblocks. They also conducted compliance inspections and shut down establishments operating outside the law.


Members of the media, I criss-crossed the country, during my countrywide inspection tour in December, to assess these police led operations and see for myself how residents, holidaymakers and all those visiting our shores are being kept safe. I can assure you, all officers in all corners of the country were hard at work, giving criminals sleepless nights.


In September, the Police Ministry alongside the top management of the SAPS agreed that the only way we as the SAPS can turn the tide against crime, we MUST do things differently! This is why the slogan “ZIZOJIKA IZINTO!” was adopted

Ladies and Gentlemen. Indeed Zijikile Izinto!

The Festive Season period according to the SAPS calendar, which started from October 15 to the 11th of January has been the safest.


This period has seen a massive drop in most major crimes, with a lesser number of people killed compared to the same period the previous year. The national murder rate during this period declined by 1.4%


All crimes within the Contact Crime category decreased apart from common assault and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Women and children were also safer this Festive Season, with Sexual offences which includes crimes such as rapes, sexual assault and attempted sexual offences decreased by 9.9%.

There has also been a drop in ALL contact related crimes such as arson and malicious damage to property.

This festive season, homes and business property were safer.

Property related crime, such as burglary at residential and non-residential premises, theft out of vehicles and stock theft decreased by 10.2%


With all these decreasing numbers, I am aware that there are still some stubborn crimes that need urgent intervention and resources.

While 388 suspects have been arrested for car high-jacking during this period.

There were more carjacking and truck high jacking cases during the 2019 festive season period, which increased by 11% and 9.0% respectively.


Firearms are the preferred instruments used to commit these crimes.

Proactive policing resulted in 4,831 firearms being confiscated during the period in question.


More drunken drivers were also taken off our roads during the festive period. Despite our constant warnings, education and awareness raised, 24,827 drunk drivers were arrested as a result of Police action. This means 4,048 more people were arrested by the SAPS for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs compared to the previous comparative period.


I am convinced that alcohol remains the enemy of our society and is a main driver of many contact crimes.

During the festive season period police shutdown 6,124 liquor stores and taverns due to non-compliance. Over 2000 of these outlets were operating in the Eastern Cape.


Police action also resulted in the arrest of over 84 thousand suspects for various crimes. This includes 173 parolees. 17 thousand of them remain behind bars and going through the legal system.

Ladies and gentlemen, while we have recently seen embarrassing and very concerning conduct of some members of the South African Police Service recently.

I am confident that these are just isolated incidents that are being dealt with internally and appropriate action will be taken against any member who puts the organisation into disrepute.

However, I have no doubt this great organisation is full of dedicated and committed men and women and the festive season successes are evidence of their hard work.

These successes are as a result of planning and execution by all members of the SAPS from top management down to the newest and most junior members of the SAPS - the Constables that were on the passing out parade in December 2019.

Once again, thank you police officers, for taking up the call to serve and protect while the whole country was at leisure. Your efforts have paid off and you should be proud of your achievements and maintain the good record. The country salutes you.

I want to also thank communities and Community Policing Forums (CPF) and neighbourhood groupings who work in unison with the police to ensure that criminality is not given a chance to flourish.

In conclusion, while the festive season is over, the fight against crime continues. My instruction to all police officers is keep the same spirit, motivation and energy levels in the next decade as we work towards achieving the presidential goal of halving violent crime in 10 years. 

Our service delivery mandate still remains and that is to ensure that the People of South Africa are and feel safe. Let us continue to squeeze the space for criminals to ZERO!

 I thank you.


Ms Lirandzu Themba – 0826049080
Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo - 082 567 4153