The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has welcomed the arrest of 165 illegal immigrants at a Pietermaritzburg landfill site.
A multi-disciplinary operation was held at Alexandra Road in Pietermaritzburg on 25 August 2022, following reports of rampant criminality at the dump site.
The multidisciplinary team which comprised of local police, SAPS Airwing, SAPS Mounted Unit, Fire and Rescue, Crime Intelligence, SAPS Stabilisation Team, Department of Home Affairs and Magma Security, worked tirelessly at the landfill site on New England Road where its alleged that waste pickers were engaged in criminal activity.
Police received reports that conflict amongst waste pickers has resulted in assaults as well as murders.
The team arrested 168 people which included 165 illegal immigrants.
The suspects were arrested for contravention of the Immigration Act, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition as well as possession of drugs. Police officers also seized two pistols, ammunition and drugs during the operation. The suspects who are aged between 18 and 55 appeared before the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court.
“We commend this bold initiative by police at Umgungundlovu and other role players to deal with rising crime which is exacerbated by the growing number of undocumented persons. We are calling for similar operations in other districts to deal decisively with their crime hotspots,” said Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi.