File picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town on Monday said its law enforcement officials arrested a total of 135 people, issued 8131 fines and impounded 132 minibus taxis during last week’s operations across the city. 

According to the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, on Friday, traffic flow in and around the Station Deck in Cape Town was blocked by taxi drivers who protested against the issuing of traffic fines, warrants of arrests for road traffic contraventions and the impoundment of minibus taxis operating illegally. 

He said these protests caused serious traffic congestion and disruption in the central business district. 

“The city cannot allow taxi drivers to take the law into their hands and hold innocent and law-abiding motorists ransom by taking their frustration to the streets, blocking roads and causing public order disruption and putting the lives of residents in danger,” said Smith.

During various roadblocks in the past week, the city’s traffic service netted 76 suspects for driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, during an operation in the southern suburbs, officers impounded 20 taxis, confiscated 45 cellphones and issued 4,167 fines.

“The continued disregard for the law in the public transport sector is of grave concern, and so too the attempted resistance to our enforcement operations. However, this sector isn’t the only problem. There are many private road users who also need to reconsider their actions. Whether it is drunk driving or speeding or reckless and negligent driving, the city will not tolerate this type of behaviour from anyone. Many motorists complain about the taxis, but fail to take accountability for their own actions,” Smith said.  

During crime prevention patrols, Metro police officers arrested  58 motorists for driving while under the influence of alcohol and 45 suspects on various charges which included the illegal possession of drugs, resisting arrest, theft out of motor vehicle, possession of a dangerous weapon, robbery, trespassing, possession of stolen property and defeating the ends of justice. Members also issued 1,096 fines for by-law and traffic contraventions.

Smith said officers also confiscated various quantities of drugs. In one incident, officers attached to the Gang and Drug Task Team reacted swiftly and searched an informal structure in Gugulethu on Friday. They found 109 packets of tik, mandrax tablets, dagga and R2,400 in cash. A 23-year-old male was arrested for dealing in drugs and was transported to Gugulethu SAPS where he was detained.

“The city’s enforcement agencies prioritise serious offences based on operational deliverables and we will not hesitate to act swiftly against criminals. It’s our duty to protect and to serve and we will continue to do so,” he said.

“We will intensify our enforcement programmes as we are moving closer to the summer season. We would once again like to request the public to inform us of any criminal behaviour so that we can investigate and improve on our efforts to ensure law and order.”

African News Agency (ANA)