Police Minister Bheki Cele has assured residents at Qoloqolo in Mthwalume, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, that police will spare no effort in tracking down criminals in the area. Cele also used the visit to interact with community members and owners of local shops, while encouraging community members to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

The Minister’s visit comes after five people were killed in the Qoloqolo area in the last two months. Cele says two people have been arrested in connection with these incidents. He also says he believes the incidents are pure criminality, as some items were stolen from houses.

“The killing here of the five people all of them were killed during the lockdown is nothing but pure criminality. We are very happy to announce that some of those people have been arrested. We want to put that one aside,” says Cele.

As the country prepares to move to Level-3 of the national lockdown on Monday, Cele says law enforcement efforts will continue. Referring to the sale of alcohol that will be allowed during limited trading hours, Cele says police visibility will still be high across the country.

“Things that have been happening to enforce the law we’re still going to have our roadblocks. We’re still going to have our checkpoints. There are still red areas, in these hotspots, we’ll have extra policing – in terms of checking if people are doing things they are supposed to be doing,” says Cele.

Cele says the task team that was established to investigate political killings in KwaZulu-Natal will now investigate the latest killings that took place in the province this week. Among them was that of an ANCYL leader, Kingdom Gcabashe, who was gunned down in Hammarsdale on Monday.

“At Cato Ridge, it seems to be a pure political killing. There are other issues when it comes to Matuba that we are still trying to investigate. Yes, a political figure was killed but by the way not only the ANC, two weeks earlier a known IFP member was killed there. That’s why we are saying we are checking, we don’t want to move quickly to say it is a political killing resurgence, we want to see if there are other criminals,” says Cele.

Cele has raised concerns that while people do have masks, they are not wearing them in the correct way.  Masks should cover the mouth and nose.