Hundreds of police officers descended on Durban’s notorious Glebelands Hostels on Friday in a show of force that saw two suspects arrested and numerous residences searched for drugs and weapons.
Officers from the eThekwini Metro Police, along with the South African Police Units from within Durban as well as from the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast and Pretoria, searched several blocks in the notorious hostels as residents looked on.
Police spokesman Brigadier Jay Naicker said that two people were arrested during the raid for being in possession of three illegal firearms.
Dogs were also brought in to search for drugs and explosives while members of the police’s vehicle theft unit were on hand to check various vehicles to see if they were stolen.
In one of the rooms a traditional healer showed police officers two long pangas (machetes), which he said he used for harvesting herbs and plants for his traditional medicine.
“Can you help us win the lotto?” one of the officers joked with the man, who did not want to speak with media.
As officers went from room to room and building to building, residents watched, few daring to speak to the media or wanting to be in pictures.
The hostels have made headlines for the ongoing violence that has claimed the lives 61 people since March 2014, including that of African National Congress (ANC) councillor Zodwa Sibiya.
Water taps leaked through several of the buildings while a number of windows could be seen where bullet holes had penetrated them.
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