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Briefing notes: National Commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola - Update the nation on measures to address crime picture in the country


As the country prepares to usher in the peak of the festive season, members of the South African Police Service continue to intensify the fight against crime through intensified, integrated crime prevention and crime combatting operations, as we strive to heighten and increase police visibility throughout the country.

Our apex priority remains the well-being and safety of residents and tourists alike during and beyond this period.

Our safer festive season operations which are already in full swing are characterized by heightened crime awareness campaigns, foot, vehicle and air-support patrols, stop and searches, arrests, vehicle checkpoints and roadblocks.

Maximum resources have already been deployed as we seek to assert the authority of the state: regain public confidence; and ensure that our communities are and feel safe and secure.

Through our National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) we have identified six focus areas which we are prioritising during this festive period. All our provinces are conducting operations in line with the National Policing Strategy focusing on the following priorities:

Our six focus areas include intensifying our campaigns and police actions towards addressing Gender Based Violence and Femicide as we continue to embark on the tracking and tracing of wanted suspects. As an organization, we remain committed to ensuring the safety of women, children and vulnerable groups, not only during this 16 days period but throughout the year.

Our second focus area focuses on intensifying efforts to combat aggravated robberies such as Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heists, ATM bombings, carjacking, robberies at residential and business premises. We all know that this period is characterized by an abundance in cash and influx of people at shopping centre’s and malls. This is the time where people share money and their hard earned savings, but it is also a period where criminals pounce on these unsuspecting victims to rob them off their belongings.

Our third focus area focuses on enhancing border security, as we know that this is a period where we witness an influx of people utilizing our borders to enter or exit the country. We have been intensifying our search operations at the borders where we are focusing on preventing and combatting human and drug trafficking as well as illegal crossings.

The fourth focus area looks into the enforcement of legislation to decisively address the proliferation of illegal firearms, second hand goods, liquor enforcement as well as the enforcement of the SASREA Act. Compliance inspections at establishments that sell liquor including taverns, shebeen’s and night clubs are being intensified to ensure compliance with relevant legislation including the trading hours.

The fifth area focuses on the enforcement of by-laws targeting hijacked buildings, destruction of essential infrastructure, extortion as well as unlawful sale and use of fire crackers.

The sixth focus area looks into road safety where we are jointly conducting roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints together with the metro police departments as well as provincial and national traffic police.

We have been hard at work in consistently developing and reviewing interventions in response to the analysis of crime patterns and emerging crime trends in the country.

Ladies and gentlemen…

It is encouraging to report that since my term of office began, the SAPS has arrested two-hundred and forty-nine-thousand-six-hundred-and-seven (249 607) suspects for various crimes,  from  01 April to 30 September 2022:

The breakdown is as follows:

On Contact  crimes: A total of  one-hundred-and forty-one-thousand-five-hundred and-forty-one (141 541) suspects were arrested and charged for contact crimes including murder, attempted murder and sexual offences. On sexual offences, 11 460 suspected were arrested and charged.  Four-thousand-nine-hundred-and-ninety-four suspects (4994) have already been successfully processed through the courts and convicted.  

When it comes to Aggravated robberies: Seven-thousand-and-thirty-seven(7 037) suspects were arrested and charged for aggravated robberies, which include Truck Hijacking, House Robbery, Business Robbery and Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heists. One-hundred-and-sixteen (116) suspects have already been convicted.

On property related crimes:

  • On property related crimes which include burglary at residential and business premises, theft out of motor vehicle and theft of motor vehicle as well as stock theft, a total of twenty-three-thousand-eight-hundred-and-nine(23 809) suspects were arrested and charged with two-thousand-one-hundred-and-ten (2110) suspects already convicted.

On contact related crimes

  • On contact related crimes which include arson and malicious damage to property, a total of twenty-five-thousand-nine-hundred-and-thirty-five (25 935) suspects were arrested and charged. One-thousand-two-hundred-and-ninety-three (1293) suspects have already been convicted.

On other serious crimes: which include fraud, theft and shoplifting, a total of (fifty-eight-thousand-three-hundred-and-twenty-two (58 322) suspects were arrested and charged with nine-thousand-eight-hundred-and-forty-one (9841) of them have already convicted.

When it comes to recoveries:

  • 2 338 firearms were recovered during operations with 36 414 rounds of ammunition confiscated
  • 2 843 vehicles that were either hijacked or stolen were also recovered

The following successes were achieved from our 72 Ports of entry which include 53 land ports, 10 airports and 9 sea ports:

  • 7928 illegal immigrants were arrested for not being in possession of the required travel documentation.

292 suspects were arrested for narcotic-related crimes and being in possession of various drugs which were seized which include:

  • 41 kilograms of cocaine
  • 79 082 tablets of Ecstacy
  • 153 367 tablets of mandrax 
  • 61. 045 kg of Nyaope
  • 170 487 grams of methamphetamine/Crystal Meth Tik,
  •  2 533 715 grams of dagga and or outdoor/hydroponic cannabis),
  • 73 428 gram of Heroine (nyaope/whoonga) was also siezed.
  • 98 suspects were arrested for the possession of stolen and vehicles.
  • 56 vehicles were seized which were not stolen/robbed, but used in the commission of various crimes.
  • 22 arrests were made in relation to ferrous- and non-ferrous metals and precious stones and the following confiscations were made: 8 154,5 kg copper, 19,5 meter of copper; and 2,5 kg of gold dust.
  • 13 arrests were made in relation to explosives and detonators and the following were confiscated: 1300 capped fuses, 11 detonating fuses, 1282 blasting detonators, 1018 blasting cartridges; and 12 detonating cords. 

Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF)

Ladies and gentlemen, as we shine the spotlight on violence perpetrated against women, children and vulnerable groups, we would like to implore on all of you to continue to work together with the police by reporting these crimes to ensure all perpetrators are brought before the courts to face the full might of the law.

Through our 176 Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) and 9 Serial and Electronic Crime Investigations (SECI) Units, the SAPS has achieved the following convictions on GBVF related cases.

During this reporting period, the FCS arrested and charged 7926 perpetrators.

Also falling within this reporting period, 696 perpetrators were convicted and sentenced to a combined 7773 years of imprisonment.

Of the 696 perpetrators, 114 of them were handed down 192 life imprisonment sentences.

The key highlights of convictions during these reporting period include the sentencing of the following perpetrators:

In Gauteng, 37-year-old Asha Moyo was sentenced to 21x life and an additional 206 years imprisonment for 15 counts of rape, robbery and pointing of firearm.

In Limpopo, 24-year-old Tshitshikawe Divhuwo was sentenced to life in prison and an additional 207 years imprisonment for rape and kidnapping.

Also in Limpopo, 30-year-old Jafta Makamu was sentenced to 75 years imprisonment for three counts of rape.

The tracing of wanted GBVF perpetrators is ongoing and the unit continues to intensify its efforts on educating communities on services that are available to them. Encouraging communities to report incidents of GBVF timeously to the SAPS in a bid to save more lives is also among the top priorities for the organisation.

DNA backlog

It is therefore also worth noting that we have made significant progress in reducing the DNA backlog which currently stands at 64 000 as at 08 December 2022 which is a reduction of 55,02% since I assumed office. With this reduction, we are confident that more cases will be finalized.

In a bid to strengthen capacity within the Criminal Justice System to address all impunity, the following successes are worth mentioning:

Mass shootings and or multiple murders:


Of the 32 cases were reported, 9 of them are currently before court with a total of 25 arrested and charged.

Eastern Cape

In the Eastern Cape, four suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of 7 family members in Bityi.

Black Axe

The continuous arrest of wanted fugitives in the country should send a stern warning to all, that South Africa is not a playground and hiding place for criminals, either they hand themselves in or we fetch them.

The successful detection and arrest of the Black Axe Organised Criminal Gang which is accused of swindling multiple individuals and companies in the USA of millions of dollars are amongst the successes achieved by Interpol. A total of 10 Nigerian nationals have been arrested in multiple raids across Johannesburg and Cape Town since April this year.

The operation was part of a global initiative under the framework of INTERPOL’s Global Financial Crime Task Force (IGFCTF), where 14 countries including South Africa and the United States work closely together to tackle the global threat of cyber enabled financial crime.

Israeli Gang Leader

Two weeks ago, a multi-disciplinary team led by Interpol South Africa, Serious Organised Crime, Detectives, Crime Intelligence and the Special Task Force (STF) arrested a 46-year-old Israeli gang leader attached to a criminal organisation in Israel called the 'Abergil Organisation'. Yaniv Ben Simon, who is known as the world’s most wanted Israeli, is wanted for a host of crimes including attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in two separate incidents which took place in Israel .He was arrested alongside seven others during an early morning raid at a home in Bryanston.  Amongst the items seized from this scene include 19 firearms of which 2 were AK47s, a mini Ruger with a silencer.  8 vehicles including a sniper truck, frequency jamming devices, 4 drones and money counting machines and $40 000 US Dollars gives us an indication that we have broken the back of a syndicate that is most likely linked to criminal underworld activities.

Rhino poaching syndicate

Working closely with the DPCI, on the 2nd of December 2022, nine suspects believed to be part of a rhino poaching syndicate were arrested on charges of money laundering. This brings the total number of suspects arrested in this case to eleven. Two suspects who were previously arrested in April 2022 allegedly colluded with the syndicate in providing tactical information in exchange for substantial sums of money which was transferred into the bank accounts of the suspects.

R400 million cocaine bust

In August this year, police in the Western Cape intercepted a truck along the N1 highway with 672 kilograms of cocaine worth a street value of R400 million. Three suspects have since been arrested and have been charged with dealing in drugs.

R29,3 million Rand Cocaine BUST

On the 05th of December police in Mpumalanga intercepted a truck that had just entered the country from Mozambique at the Lebombo Port of Entry. During a search, police came across Cocaine worth 29 million rand which was immediately seized.

German tourist killing

Still in Mpumalanga, police arrested four suspects in connection with the murder of a German tourist in October 2022. The arrested suspects are between the ages of 25 and 38.

Illicit mining

During this period, 763 illegal miners were also arrested including 37 South Africans, 227 Lesotho nationals, 225 Mozambicans, 198 Zimbabweans and 70 Malawians and 6 others.


The SAPS management once again reiterates its stance to a zero tolerance approach towards corruption and other forms of criminality within its ranks.
The recent arrest of six police officers attached to the Tshamutumbu police station in the Vhembe District in Limpopo should serve as a deterrent and send a stern warning to all law enforcement officers who find themselves colluding with criminals. Our preliminary investigations have revealed that the six police officers had allegedly created a safe passage for smugglers to enter the country illegally in possession of illicit cigarettes in exchange for gratifications and bribes. Our internal departmental processes have already commenced.


Following the release of a report which investigated allegations that some SAPS members are colluding with gangsters in the Western Cape, as management of the SAPS we are currently studying the report. We reiterate our stance of no zero tolerance approach to corruption, therefore should any of our own members found to be wanting, we will not hesitate to take action against our own.

Economic Infrastructure Task Teams  (EITT)

In a bid to prevent and combat the scourge of economic and critical infrastructure related crimes, the SAPS has led the establishment of multidisciplinary Economic Infrastructure Teams (EITT’s) made up of different specialised units partnering with private security, other government agencies, as well as business partners.

From May 2022, EITT’s across all nine provinces were operational within identified districts per province.

Through an integrated operational approach, these teams conducted 3 776 operations, attended 4 934 incidents, and registered 11 577 case dockets with 4 393 arrests.

Goods and property suspected to be proceeds of crime worth an estimated value of more than R33.6 million were also confiscated.

Furthermore, 5 193 inspections were conducted at Scrap metal dealers and Recyclers premises to enforce compliance to the Second Hand Goods Act.

During this period a total number of 234 accused were convicted in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act, 2015 (Act No. 18 of 2015) for essential infrastructure related crimes of which 20 years’ direct imprisonment was recorded as the maximum imprisonment. 

Extortions and violence on business sites

Ladies and gentlemen….

The country experienced sporadic incidents of violence and extortion at economic sites due to demand for community employment and 30% share inclusion of Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) in projects. Certain companies, individuals and gangs are utilising mafia type tactics by amongst others demanding tenders from municipalities as well as contractors on major infrastructure projects.

To this end, the SAPS is currently investigating 649 cases related to extortion and violence on business sites. 467 of these cases were reported in Gauteng while KwaZulu-Natal accounts for 55, followed by Western Cape at 38 and Eastern Cape with 34. To date, 678 suspects have been arrested with 129 cases currently before court. 27 suspects have since been convicted with a combined 90 years imprisonment.

Theft and vandalism in the energy sector

In relation to theft and vandalism in the energy sector, 2418 cases are currently being investigated, with 196 suspects arrested. 93 cases are currently on the court roll and a total of 7 people have so far been convicted.

Kidnappings for ransoms

134 cases of kidnappings where ransom demands were made are currently under investigation. To date, 124 suspects have been arrested with 81 still in custody.  Several victims have been rescued including the recent incident where an 8-year-old girl from Cape Town was rescued from a shack in Khayelitsha in a joint operation involving the City of Cape Town. Seven suspects have since been arrested.

Following my appointment in April this year, I also made a few immediate priorities and part of them was to fill critical vacancies from District Commissioners to Station and Unit Commanders.

I am therefore pleased to report that significant progress has been made in this regard.

Filling of critical vacancies

I am proud to announce the recent appointment of senior managers in key positions.

The appointment of senior managers to key positions in the Service is part of the organisations plans to increase capacity, enhance accountability and bring about stability within the respective Provinces and Divisions.

Appointment of Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Service (TMS)

Major General Edith Mavundla has been appointed as the Divisional Commissioner for Technology Management Service (TMS) at the rank of Lieutenant General with effect from the 1st December 2022. The officer joined the service in 1987 and worked her way up through the ranks to the level of Major General in 2011.  She has vast experience in the Information Technology environment having served in a variety of senior roles including that of Component Head :Technology Governance.  She holds a National Diploma in Public Management and Administration and a B-tech degree in Business Information Systems.

Appointment of Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence (CI)

Major General Dumisani Khumalo has been appointed as the Divisional Commissioner for Crime Intelligence at the rank of Lieutenant General with effect from the 1st of December 2022. The officer joined the service in 1991 as a student constable. The officer has vast experience and has been serving within the Operational Response Services (ORS) as well as Crime Intelligence (CI) environments for the past 26 years. From 2006 to 2018 he served as a Component Head for National Operational Coordination (NOC) where he was responsible for the integrated deployment of resources to crime hotspot areas throughout the country. Due to his meticulous information gathering and analysis skills, the officer was assigned to lead intelligence driven investigations in KwaZulu-Natal from 2018 to date.

11 364 members from the junior to middle management ranks were promoted from the 1st of April to date.

Of the 11 364, a total of 7 694 are members who were promoted from the ranks of Constable to Sergeant and Sergeant to Warrant Officer.

The implementation of various human resource processes within the Service is part of the organisation’s Human Capital Investment Strategy, which aims to boost the morale and well-being of members.

Capacitating FSL

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have also reached an advanced stage in recruiting 60 forensic analysts who will be deployed in the Forensic Sciences Laboratories (FSL) to capacitate and bolster our efforts in reducing the DNA backlog and maintain prescribed standards in relation to DNA processing.

Project 10 k

It also gives me great pleasure to also announce that on Tuesday, 13 December 2022 we will be officially welcoming 9 248  of  10 000 newly trained police officers within our ranks after successfully completing the 9-months Basic Police Learning Development Programme (BPLDP). This group was selected from five-hundred-and-twenty-three-thousand-and-six-hundred-and-sixty-six (523 666) applicants and will stand on parade in five provinces including: Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng.  These police officers will be deployed to all 1156 police stations across the country with a focus on the top 30 crime weight stations in each province. 4000 of these newly trained constables will also be deployed to the Public Order Police (POP) unit to bolster the organizations efforts in crowd control management in instances such as violent protests and related opportunistic crime. The injection of new blood within our ranks is seen as a force multiplier which will enhance police visibility during and beyond the festive period.

 The first 495 newly trained police officers consisting of Law, Criminology and BSC graduates have already been deployed to various units after completing their training in September this year. The remaining 556 trainees are still undergoing training following the commencement of their 9month program in October this year.


Forming part of my immediate priorities was also to ensure the rejuvenation of functional Community-Police-Forums (CPF). I am therefore pleased to announce that we currently have 1153 functional CPF structures throughout the country. The significant role that these Community Police Structures play in assisting the mandate of the SAPS cannot be overemphasized as they constantly act as our eyes and ears on the ground.  Community participation is therefore the key that will assist in ensuring that we defeat all forms of criminality with a view of creating safer communities.

Rural Safety

Our National Rural Safety Strategy which looks into the safety and security of rural and farming communities is also continuously being implemented as we know that we witness a rise in stock theft incidents during this busy festive period.  We are continuously implementing the strategy at all rural and rural-urban police stations. In a bid to strengthen implementation at station level, Rural Safety Coordinators have been appointed to coordinate all activities within the rural sectors of the policing area, including the development and implementation of a Rural Safety Plan in cooperation with all stakeholders.

During the Ministerial, Rural Safety Summit that was held in Parys, Free State, on 27 & 28 June 2022, a National Working Committee was established and is responsible for ensuring that all role players share information and work together to minimize incidents of crime in rural and farming communities.


Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to assure everyone in the country of our commitment in ensuring that we clamp down on all forms of criminality. I want to assure South Africans of our readiness to combat crime as we demonstrate our ability to prevent, combat and investigate crime, secure and protect the inhabitants of this country and uphold and enforce the law during this busy festive season and beyond.

I thank you!