EC police arrest 479 suspects in weekly operations

In the Eastern Cape’s eight districts, police are successfully cracking down on criminals. The week of May 28 to June 3, 2023, saw the arrest of 479 suspects for serious crimes.

According to the police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli, the operations carried out by the several districts in the province will guarantee that police are working to make the community safer. He said that the whole number of suspects included those arrested for offences such as murder, drug possession, unlawful possession of firearms, and ammunition.

“In the Sarah Baartman District, detectives arrested a 38-year-old man in Bedford on Thursday, 1 June 2023, for the murder of a farm manager. The suspect also stole cellphones and a vehicle, which was recovered abandoned in Somerset East, few hours after the incident. Police also recovered two firearms found inside the abandoned vehicle,” said Nkohli.

Nkohli noted that other intelligence-driven operations had also been carried out, with major successes coming from OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela Bay, two of the priority districts. The Nelson Mandela Bay district seized eight firearms, while the OR Tambo area seized a total of 11 unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

“Two automatic rifles (AK-47 and R5) were among the firearms found in areas such as Bityi, Madeira, Mthontsasa, Lusikisiki and Mthatha in the OR Tambo District. The arrested suspects have since appeared in their respective magisterial courts on their respective charges. All the confiscated firearms will be sent to ballistics for analysis.

“In other operations that were held throughout the province, 136 720 litres of alcoholic beverages were confiscated from 4 unlicensed liquor outlets. Police also seized a total of 141 683 kilograms of dagga, 4.12 grams of cocaine and 871.50 grams of tik (crystal meth). The estimated value of the total drugs seized is over R 425 million,” said Nkohli.

The police will continue to use force against criminals, said Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene. “We remain committed to decisively deal with crime and criminals within this Province. With more boots on the ground, we are determined to reduce the serious and violent crimes that are plaguing our societies,” said Mene.

She said that as part of Operation Shanela, which began in the province this week, they will primarily target areas that have been recognised as crime hotspots. She said that criminals will have a lot to worry about since they will be in their faces.