Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies came under a series of attacks during operations in Phillippi on Friday, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith revealed on Monday.
“The events in Philippi are a blatant attack on the State and cannot be tolerated. I want to make it very clear that we will not be intimidated by criminals,” said Smith.
The City’s Metro Police Department were carrying out one of several operations in Philippi on Friday when members were threatened and attacked by illegal taxi operators.
An Metro officer was mobbed by a group of approximately 20 people while driving an impounded vehicle Smith reported. He was assaulted and the group tried to grab his service pistol before members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) fired a warning shot, forcing the crowd to disperse.
An hour later, another crowd attacked two Metro Police vehicles at the intersection of Stock and Rochester Roads in Philippi.
“When the department’s Tactical Response Unit arrived, they were met with bricks and stones before two rubber rounds were fired to disperse the crowd,” Smith added. “That evening, a Metro Police officer was leaving the department’s Philippi depot when an unknown man pointed a gun at him. The officer then requested an escort to transport him, driving just a few metres before three shots were fired at the police vehicles.
“Officers at the Philippi East station also found a bullet hole in the door of one of their vehicles.
“Our job is to enforce the laws and it is very unfortunate that those who believe that they are above the law have the temerity to react in this manner,” said Smith.
The Philippi operation formed part of a series of operations carried out by the City’s enforcement agencies last week.
“I want to commend the officers for staying the course during this operation. We are thankful that there were no serious injuries,” said Smith.
The operations yielded many successes, including:
– Nearly 90 arrests
– 19 vehicles impounded
– 23 traffic fines issued
– Arrests of 33 motorists for drunk driving
– Arrests of 40 suspects for various crimes including murder, attempted murder, possession of drugs and stolen property
– Confiscation of various quantities of tik, dagga and mandrax, a Norinco Star pistol and various types of ammunition.
The City’s enforcement agencies’ successes also extended to that of the Traffic Services’ Ghost Squad who arrested six civilian motorists for reckless and negligent driving.
These were as a result of an operation focused on illegal street racing in Athlone and Ottery.
One of the suspects was found to be twice over the legal alcohol limit Smith said.
The Ghost Squad had also conducted a pre-operation briefing outside the Milnerton police station when a speeding vehicle was spotted on Koeberg Road.
The driver had almost collided with a traffic post before he proceeded into the police station premises. On approach, officers discovered the driver in full police uniform, smelling of alcohol. The officer, who was nearly three times over the legal limit, was the seventh motorist arrested for reckless and negligent driving.
“This arrest is really disappointing. When the people who are meant to uphold the law are the ones breaking it, it is no surprise that some residents have no regard for the law or those who enforce it,” added Smith.