Pretoria – Gauteng and Tshwane police commissioners lieutenant-general Elias Mawela and major-general Hilda Mohajane led a festive safety operation to crack the whip on motorists and residents contravening the law and lockdown regulations in Pretoria.
The operation began on Wednesday night on the Day of Reconciliation when people hold parties and events that sometimes become chaotic.
However, with the lockdown in effect and President Cyril Ramaphosa having just cut curfew to 11pm Mawela said the police went out in large numbers to bust offenders and politely shutdown parties and even helped young people put away their speakers.
Mawela said teams of detectives always spread out across Gauteng looking for wanted suspects, while other police officers focus on lockdown enforcement, crime prevention and emergency police reaction.
He said detectives in Tshwane arrested 230 wanted suspects on Wednesday night.
He said the South African Police Services believed that the detectives did a sterling job, especially because some of the suspects arrested were perpetrators of gender-based violence.
He said: “Some were arrested for contact crimes like murder, attempted murder, and robbery, so they have done very well.”
Mawela and Mohajane decided to go to the capital city and join roadblocks, engage travellers at bus and taxi ranks and also monitor Covid-19 regulation compliance in all spaces where there are a lot of people, including the Post Office on Church Square.
“We decided to go to Pretoria central because it is a capital city and we need to have control over the capital city. Think of any country where the capital city is not taken care of or secure, and it’s not safe. That gives a bad impression about the country itself.
“We know that a lot of people are here and they are coming for shopping and other reasons. It will be an indictment to us as law enforcement agencies to say a lot of people have been robbed in the capital city of the country.
“We felt that we needed to come here and strengthen the arm of the Tshwane district commissioner and the Pretoria central station commander. We started with roadblocks in the morning, where we found a vehicle with a cloned registration,” said Mawela.
Mawela said the teams arrested numerous undocumented immigrants and fined a lot of motorists with unroadworthy vehicles.