Saturday, 30 September, 2023

Crime and courts

Dozens arrested during police operation over the weekend

Police in Mpumalanga this weekend carried out a successful operation during which 77 people were arrested for crimes ranging from murder, attempted murder, robbery, gender-based violence, the unlawful possession of ammunition, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa, to dealing in dagga and common assault.

Approximately 2 385 persons and 815 cars were searched during Operation Siyavutha.

Seventeen taverns in the Ehlanzeni District were visited and about 1 000 patrons were searched inside those liquor outlets. Several items, including knives and dagga, were confiscated inside the taverns and two taverns have been closed for non compliance. One person in Marite near Bushbuckridge was arrested for selling liquor without a licence.

The law-enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Siyavutha included the South African Police Service, the Department of Home Affairs, provincial traffic, emergency medical services, law enforcement from Mbombela municipality and community policing forums.

“Notable successes achieved included the arrest of a minibus driver (27) on Friday for the unlawful possession of ammunition during stop-and-searches at a roadblock along the N4 Road in Nelspruit. The taxi driver was reportedly ferrying commuters from Nelspruit to Gauteng when two rounds of live ammunition were discovered inside a cooler box at the back of the kombi,” says Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli.

Also on Friday, a team on duty on the N12 spotted a suspicious-looking grey BMW heading towards Johannesburg. The vehicle was stopped and searched, and two AK-47 rifles were found on the back seat of the car, as well as nine magazines loaded with 266 rounds of ammunition for AK-47 rifles. Two men, aged 41 and 43 respectively, were arrested.

“Preliminary investigation has since revealed that the BMW was hijacked from its owner in Parktown, Gauteng, in September 2021. It is further suspected that the two male suspects were possibly on a mission to commit crime when they were intercepted,” Mdhluli says.

The arrested suspects are expected to appear in various magistrate’s courts across the province.

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