Government turning tide on KZN crime

Friday, August 3, 2018

A high-level police task team looking into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal has been hailed by Police Minister Bheki Cele following the arrest of six suspects two weeks ago.

Addressing the media in Durban on Friday, the Minister said two firearms were recovered during the arrests and they have already been linked to eight cases.

Cele made the announcement while presenting a progress report of an inter-ministerial team on investigations into the political killings in the province.

“As a way of progress, we have taken a decision to change the members of the task team that was responsible for the investigations into the political killings. The new project team has 118 new members, plus eight members from the previous task team who have been retained,” he said.

The team has adopted a project-driven approach that will have dedicated human and physical resources, comprising seasoned detectives from five provinces. The 126-member team will be led by the Acting Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and two brigadiers.

“The National Prosecuting Authority has also dedicated 16 experienced and seasoned prosecutors, led by Advocate Selepe, to support the investigating team to ensure effective case management and successful prosecutions,” Cele said.

KwaZulu-Natal, like the other eight provinces, is under stabilisation, meaning this province has also adopted a dedicated, integrated multi-disciplinary approach on all areas of criminality. This team will be expected to function independently moving forward.

In June, Cele and National Police Commissioner General John Sitole announced the implementation of stabilisation interventions throughout the country to deal with serious crimes.

“Our mandate as the South African Police Service, derived from Section 205 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, is to prevent, combat and investigate crime,” Cele said.

Since then, KwaZulu-Natal had made significant progress.

Police in the province have arrested 512 people for the illegal possession of arms and/or ammunition.

“During these continuing stabilisation interventions, they have also seized 706 illegal guns, including semi-automatic rifles, high calibre rifles (hunting rifles), shotguns, revolvers, pistols and homemade guns. A total of 6 045 rounds of ammunition were also taken away from our streets,” Cele said. –