Following a spate of mass shootings around the country, South Africa’s provincial commissioners are mobilising maximum resources towards preventing more such incidents and apprehending the perpetrators.
Recent weeks have been marred by incidents of shootings that have resulted in multiple murders and injuries in mostly KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
In July alone, a total of 1 173 illegal firearms and 7 738 live ammunition were confiscated countrywide, 1 035 of these were confiscated in Gauteng alone.
The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola, said some of these firearms, ammunition and dangerous weapons were seized during roadblocks, as well as stolen vehicles and drugs.
General Masemola was updating the nation on Monday in Pretoria on measures in place to address crime in the country.
“This reflects our determination as management of the SAPS to intensify our efforts, dealing decisively with the proliferation of illegal firearms, thus reducing the volumes of serious and violent crimes,” he said.
General Masemola said there is an indication that in general, most serious and violent crime is committed between Fridays and Mondays.
Taking from this, the General said that all provinces are now conducting simultaneous blitz operations with high visibility and combat operations throughout the weekend.
These entail cordon and searches, as well as intelligence-driven, multi-disciplinary, disruptive operations.
“Tighter enforcement of the Firearms Control Act, the National- and Provincial Liquor Acts, and the Second Hand Goods Act, as well as strategic mounting of roadblocks, are operational interventions against which Commanders are now being measured,” he said.
Station Commanders are now expected to align their daily duties and reporting to the Crime Threat and Pattern Analysis of their local policing precinct.
Over 20 000 suspects arrested in July
The police have arrested over 22 320 suspects across the country in July for crimes committed against members of communities.
“3 193 of these suspects were arrested for assault GBH, 576 for murder, 360 attempted murder, 432 for rape and 177 for sexual offences,” General Masemola announced.
He commended the Western Cape Organised Crime Detectives for the diligent investigative work that ultimately resulted in a life sentence for the 2016 murder of Pasika Kwaza.
This comes after his wife was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for murder and 18 months for defeating the ends of justice.
One of the accomplices was handed a life sentence, while the other two were also slapped with long term imprisonment sentences.
General Masemola also commended the Gauteng FCS Detectives whose quality work enabled the life sentence handed down on Ntuthuko Shoba in relation to the brutal murder of Tshegofatso Pule last year.
“I have directed the Divisional Commissioner: Detective and Forensic Services as well as the Provincial Commanders that this is the skill-set, the energy, diligence and commitment that each victim of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, deserves,” he said.
Masemola assured South Africans that the multi-disciplinary team of investigators assigned to the West Village incident of multiple rapes of eight young women, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the suspects are ultimately linked to the crimes and face the full might of the law.
“At this point, on behalf of the management of the SAPS, I want to extend our condolences to the colleagues, families of our Special Task Force Members who lost their lives this past week.
“May the souls of the late Sergeant Matidza (34) from Jabulani, Warrants Officers Tolbadi and Tshaka, and ex-member Warrant Officer Mfadu rest in peace,” he said. –SAnews.gov.za