Gang with pistols and AK47 rifle among over 670 suspects arrested, Gauteng

South African Police Service

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Gang with pistols and AK47 rifle among over 670 suspects arrested, Gauteng. Photo: SAPS
Gang with pistols and AK47 rifle among over 670 suspects arrested, Gauteng. Photo: SAPS

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela on Thursday 23 July 2020, led the integrated O Kae Molao operations in Soweto as the South African Police Service and all law enforcement agencies in the Province continue to work hard to prevent and combat crime during the COVID-19 lockdown.

During this time, security forces are also on the ground enforcing the COVID-19 Disaster Management Lockdown Regulations in support of government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the rate of infections in Gauteng continue to escalate. By close of business, the operations across the province on Thursday resulted in the arrest of more than six hundred and seventy (670) suspects for crimes ranging from rape, armed robbery, murder, attempted murder, business robbery, assault, theft of motor vehicle, possession of drugs and possession of unlicensed firearm.

At one roadblock in Soweto, focusing on the proliferation of illegal firearms, drugs and stolen vehicles, police found three pistols, an AK-47 rifle and ammunition of different calibre after stopping and searching a Kwa-Zulu Natal registered vehicle with five men. Meanwhile, police also arrested a business robbery suspect and found on him a pistol with a loaded magazine. Investigations are underway to establish if these suspects and the illegal firearms could be linked to previous serious and violent crimes.

At the same time, members of the Vehicle Crime Investigating Unit and supporting teams pounced on a vehicle panel beating outlet in Mofolo North, where police found five vehicles that have been either reported stolen or their parts tampered with. The owner of this panel beaters evaded arrest but police are hot on his trail.

In keeping with the momentum of tracing wanted suspects, the detectives team arrested one hundred and forty (140) suspects in the Johannesburg District. Among those arrested are suspects wanted for gender based violence and crimes committed against children.

While the Provincial Commissioner led the operations in Soweto, parallel blitz operations led by the respective District Commissioners were conducted in every district in Gauteng. Over two hundred and thirty (230) suspects were arrested in Tshwane most of whom were wanted suspects successfully traced by the detectives. The operations which focused on Atteridgeville and Erasmia saw other suspects being arrested for possession of dagga, possession of suspected stolen property and contravention of Disaster Management Act. Police seized at one of the roadblocks, a Toyota Etios which was later confirmed as stolen as per a case reported at Sunnyside in 2018, and two vehicles – Volkswagen Polo and Citi Golf, whose engines had been tampered with. Traffic fines to the value of R21 500 were issued at the roadblock.

In Ekurhuleni, police arrested more than one hundred and eighty (180) suspects for various crimes. The operations were intensified in Daveyton, Etwata and Tembisa and police recovered a stolen Toyota Quantum, and impounded a sedan that was found with a tampered engine. Other suspects were arrested for dealing in dagga, possession of drugs, illegal possession of police uniform and contravention Disaster Management Act. Three other suspects were arrested in Alberton after they were found with vehicle breaking implements. Traffic fines to the value of R10 900 were issued and a fines of R6000 were issued to Second Hand dealerships for non-compliance.

Meanwhile, the total number of suspects arrested in Sedibeng District during the operations on Thursday, was seventy (70). Raids were conducted in Evaton and Orange Farm taxi ranks, shopping malls, scrapyards and liquor outlets to also ensure compliance with Disaster Management Act. Among those arrested are suspects of possession of drugs and Contravention of Disaster Management Act.

More than one hundred and ninety (190) suspects were arrested in West Rand. The focus areas were Krugersdorp and Muldersdrift. Some wanted suspects were successfully traced for crimes relating to domestic and gender based violence including murder and rape; and others for house and business robbery, fraud, and pointing of firearm. Other suspects were arrested for possession of unlicensed firearm and possession of drugs. Police during the operations in the West Rand also confiscated illicit cigarettes and expired products; while traffic fines to the value of R45 150 were issued to motorists who were in contravention of road traffic regulations.

The arrested suspects will duly appear before different courts across the Province.

With this being his first crime prevention operation since his return to office after self-isolation due the COVID-19, Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela extended his appreciation to all role-players for the well planned and executed O Kae Molao operations. “I want to commend everyone for your selfless commitment and efforts during this challenging times as we face the pandemic, and I also want to use this opportunity to urge everyone to exercise greater personal care and precaution against the corona virus, which we are exposed to daily as we execute our constitutional mandate of ensuring the safety and security of our communities.”

SAPS Newsroom

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