More than 442 000 suspects arrested since May 2023: Cele

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Police Minister Bheki Cele says that more than 442 000 suspects have been arrested since May 2023. He released the quarterly crime stats in Pretoria today.

Cele says, “It is clear that our efforts to prevent, combat and arrest criminals are proving to be effective. It is also quite clear with the number of arrests made, that OPERATION SHANELA is making its mark and putting a dent in serious, violent and organised crime.”

Livestream | Police Minister Bheki Cele releases the quarterly crime statistics:

During the festive season, crime-combatting efforts yielded results.

“A highlight of some of the arrests effected during the festive period are as follows: 32 229 suspects were arrested for common assault and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, 4 882 suspects were arrested for murder and attempted murder, 4 783 suspects were arrested for sexual offences related crimes such as rape and attempted rape, 6 383 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, 3 747 suspects were arrested for dealing in drugs while 16 942 suspects were arrested for being in possession of drugs and 2 581 suspects were arrested for being in possession of illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition.”

Law enforcement has also been focused on drug syndicates.

Cele says, “Our intelligence structures are hard at work in preventing and putting a stop to the drug trade in the country and beyond. This is also a clear demonstration that all stakeholders involved in border security management are working together to tighten the control measures of cargo entering and departing our country.”

“Four major busts were registered during the period. Three took place at the Durban Harbour Port where cocaine to the value of R300 million was seized in separate incidents. On December 4, cocaine to the value of R151 million rand was recovered. While at the Gqerberha Sea Point, cocaine prices at R65 million was seized. In this period, R800 million worth of drugs were destroyed in Gauteng. These were drugs that were collected during policing operations across the country.”

VIDEO|Police destroy 5 tons of drugs in Johannesburg:

Police have also clamped down at clandestine drug laboratories. 15 were shut down with 21 suspects arrested for drug-related charges including manufacturing and dealing in drugs.

Western Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal, Gauteng and Eastern Cape remain the crime capitals of the country.