Reclaiming the streets with Operation Fiela

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pretoria – Minister in The Presidency Jeff Radebe says government is successfully restoring peace and calm to the areas that were rocked by incidents of violence against foreign nationals through Operation Fiela – Reclaim.

“As government we are satisfied that operations on the ground by our law enforcement agencies have equally yielded positive results. Government is determined to restore and maintain order within our communities.

“We want to sweep our public places clean so that out people can be and feel safe,” said the Minister on Tuesday.

He was briefing the media on measures government has taken to end violence against foreign nationals.

Operation Fiela, which means ‘sweep’ in Sesotho, is a multidisciplinary interdepartmental strategy aimed at ridding the country of illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities.

It will also focus on illicit drugs, contraband, undocumented migrants, human trafficking and prostitution, hijacked and condemned buildings, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Unlicensed businesses, the management of RDP houses, illegal occupation of land and illegal goods and products will also be high on the list of priorities of the operation.

As part of the operation, law enforcement agencies have been deployed in different parts of the country to ensure that peace and stability is restored.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is the lead agency in the operation and is supported by the provincial and municipality traffic departments and all the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) member departments.

The IMC on Migration was appointed by President Jacob Zuma to deal with the underlying causes of the tensions between communities and foreign nationals.

Minister Radebe said under Operation Fiela, 265 suspects have been arrested and charged in relation to 150 cases of public violence around the country. Four hundred and twenty-three suspects wanted in connection with other crimes have been traced, 165 undocumented migrants were arrested and they are in the process of being deported to their respective countries.

One hundred and forty-four illegal immigrants were arrested and 200 counterfeit DVDs were confiscated. 

The successes of the operation also include the confiscation of 80 small bank bags filled with dagga and two air rifles; the arrest of one suspect for illegally dealing in liquor and the arrest of one suspect for being in possession of a South African National Defence Force uniform.

Search and seizure operations were conducted in Mayfair, Alexandra, Hillbrow and Sunnyside. –