Police in Gauteng have thus far arrested more than 700 suspects during operation Okae Molao. Five liquor outlets have been closed down and liquor worth more than R100 000 has been confiscated.

Community members in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, say they constantly fear for their life when they are out late due to crimes such as robbery, housebreaking, car hijacking, and gang violence in their area.

They are calling on police to patrol the area on daily basis.

The police’s special operations have yielded positive results already with several stolen vehicles recovered and suspects arrested. The community is impressed and says things are better with the police around.

“It’s good to see that they are out like this. I think, especially, if we are talking about cars that have been stolen and stuff, I think this will really help. But it will be nice for them to also patrol a little bit in the communities where people are living.”

Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela, says operation Okae Molao will focus on tracing and arresting wanted suspects in the area. Mawela explained that there is a need for crime-free areas where people can live without being worried that they will become victims of crime.

He says putting up roadblocks in the area will help curb crime. “Criminals use vehicles for moving from one point to another; criminals use vehicles to transport illegal and contraband and drugs, and so forth. So, the only way to catch those people, we need to mount the roadblocks. There are a lot of traffic fines issued against those vehicles that are not in order. We believe that this operation is effective thus far, but we will continue and we are going to heighten our operation, the better part of this festive season.”

Act against domestic violence

Meanwhile, Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Faith Mazibuko, pleaded with motorists to act against domestic violence and report any Gender-Based Violence immediately.

“Currently, they sentenced them. They stay quiet, but if they make it famous those that have raped them we put them on the sexual offence register. They must announce all those names we’ve put on the sexual offences register so that even other men who think of doing these things will be discouraged because they know that they will get longer sentences, and their names will get on to sexual offences register. So, ordinarily, you will never even be able to work in an environment that has got women and children.”

Law enforcement agencies will also intensify visibility in rural townships during this festive season. -Reporting by Salang Motsepe