SAPS making inroads against crime, Cele claims

Police Minister Bheki Cele Picture: Elmond Jiyane

Police Minister Bheki Cele Picture: Elmond Jiyane

Published Apr 7, 2024


Police Minister Bheki Cele says he is convinced that the police are making deep and meaningful inroads in the fight against crime.

Cele made the startling revelation yesterday during a media conference in Pretoria where the police detailed takedown operations and successes of counter-operations.

Thanks to the rejuvenation of the SAPS Crime Intelligence Division, Cele said the police had in recent days intercepted armed and dangerous gangs who have been terrorising communities.

This included the incident when a group of 11 youngsters terrorising the community of Mariannhill in KwaZulu-Natal were intercepted, leading to the shooting of nine of the suspects, as well as over 20 would-be cash-in-transit robbers in Witbank, Mpumalanga.

Cele said the results witnessed came as a result of the combination of all policing services in decisively responding to crime, especially to violent and serious crime.

Following weeks and months of planning, surveillance and monitoring, the minister said from April 2023 to date, 1 171 intelligence-led takedowns were conducted by highly skilled detectives working with members of tactical units to execute arrests.

The most significant was the dismantling of gang cartels involved in extortion in the Western Cape following the arrest of Ralph Stanfield, his wife and two other accused, and the breakthrough in the murder investigation of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes alongside his friend Tebello Motsoane.

To date, police have arrested seven suspects, including the alleged mastermind.

Cele further commended investigative teams for arresting as many as 24 suspects in connection with the 2023 Fort Hare University murders, which included the arrests of senior officials of the university as well as and directors of companies contracted to the university.

He also pointed out the progress in investigations that led to the arrests of officials relating to theft, fraud and money laundering which saw the assassination of political office-bearers in the Nongoma region in recent months.

Progress in linking a suspect to the murder of Rand Water executive Teboho Joala, who was assassinated in front of schoolchildren during an event in the south of Johannesburg earlier this year, was listed as another of the police’s successes.

Cele said that, so far, 3 749 suspects had been apprehended during intelligence-led takedowns, which included 173 for murder, 57 for extortion and kidnapping and 164 for property-related crimes.

A total of 269 arrests were made for vehicle-related crimes, 768 were arrested for possession of illegal firearms, while 488 and 79 suspects were arrested for robberies and cash-in-transit robberies respectively.

As many as 1 510 drug-related and 214 illicit mining arrests were made from April to date.