Minister of Police Bheki Cele speaks in Centurion about the state of police readiness to deal with crime this festive season. Picture: James Mahlokwane

Pretoria - The Minister of Police Bheki Cele said SA police officers will not be taking annual leave this festive season as robust plans are in motion to curb expected crimes.

Cele said a decision was taken that all senior generals would also not be permitted to take annual leave but will instead be deployed to assist their colleagues who’ll be confronting crime on the streets.

The minister addressing media in centurion explained that this was all done to put more men in power to curb the violence and fear of crime as the country looks forward to unwinding and taking a much deserved festive break.

“The South African Police Services (SAPS) top management met up in a ministerial retreat some weeks back to strategise on how to improve the safety and security of citizens in this country. 

“Firstly we decided that it was time to change things around. 

"Hence we adopted the term Zizojika Izinto (Things will change). This is why we are addressing the availability of resources and the alignment of resources with urgency.

Cele said police learned that murders occur mostly on weekends and in many instances people are killed nearby drinking holes. 

These facts will be used to deploy more officers at identified areas at identified times, in order to bring down instances of contact and violent crimes.

He said people may expect to see constant blue lights from police vehicles and increased police patrols and visibility throughout the festive period. 

This will be on trains, in buses at bus stops and malls, taxi ranks, outing areas and various public areas.

He said the police have noticed that criminals have been increasingly staging brazen robberies in malls and on the roads by attacking cash vans. 

The latest crime statistics show that cash-in-transit robberies have decreased by over 23%, bank robberies and car hi-jacking have also come  down.

Cele said the police were working closely with National Police Commissioner General Kehle Sitole in the Senzo Meyiwa case and he was confident investigations were coming along well.

He was confident that eventually they’ll be able to get to the bottom on the matter and know what happened when the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and captain was shot and killed at his then girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s home.

He said he was also happy that they’ve also made an arrest of an alleged perpetrator in the case of Limpopo student Precious Ramabulana who was found stabbed 52 times in her residence. 

Cele also condemned gender-based violence which also occurs even when the country is still observing 16 Days of Activism against it.

Pretoria News