Pretoria - Law enforcement agencies descended on Olievenhoutbosch in a bid to eradicate crime following a sharp spike recorded towards the end of last year in the area.
Yesterday, SAPS district commissioner Major-General Hilda Mohajane led a multidisciplinary police operation along the R55 to address the high numbers of murders, hijackings and business robberies.
Mohajane said the action, part of Operation Okae Molao, was aimed at specifically reducing the increase in crime recorded in the area since November. She said they would intensify policing in the area until stability had returned.
Members of the Tshwane Metro Police Department and Department of Home Affairs joined the police on the operation.
Apart from the roadblocks, the police visited shopping centres and engaged business people about crime in the area.
Mohajane said: “We have a lot of murders and car hijackings that are happening in this area and we need to make sure that we are visible in this area.
“We engaged the manager of Olievenhoutbosch Plaza and he informed us that they are experiencing a lot of armed robberies during which security officers are ambushed and their firearms are taken.”
She said the centre was advised to install CCTV cameras and road spikes at the entrance to make it hard for criminals to quickly flee after coming the crimes.
Mohajane said the operation started on Wednesday night, when police detectives arrested more than 230 suspects for various crimes, including murder, hijackings, domestic violence and gender-based violence.
“We set roadblocks up along the main roads to areas like Laudium and Erasmia where we noticed a high prevalence of truck hijackings,” she said.
Mohajane said the operation also looked at enforcing lockdown regulations such as the restrictions on the sale of alcohol, physical distancing and the wearing of masks in vehicles, especially public transport.
“At least 20 tickets were issued to drivers for non-compliance, which now amount to 18 000. We also arrested undocumented persons. More than 10 were arrested in a roadblock in the Laudium and Erasmia area.
“Our groups were also tasked to focus on compliance enforcement in terms of the National Disaster Act. You will realise that President Cyril Ramaphosa eased restrictions on the sale of alcohol so we are making sure that those liquor outlets are in compliance with restrictions,” said Mohajane.
Three second-hand goods dealers were fined for contraventions of related legislation.