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Batho Pele Principles

Operation ‘Swara Tsotsi’ yield results

By: Maano Nekhavhambe

About 160 suspects were arrested on Friday 26 July in Vhembe when the Department of Transport and Community Safety conducted operation “swara tsotsi”.

The suspects were arrested for various crimes, ranging from assault, contempt of court, drunken driving, contravention of the Immigration Act, and contravention of the Road Traffic Act, (foreigners) operating business without a South African work permit as well as selling expired products which saw one of the Indian owned supermarket, named Choice, being temporarily closed.

Operation ‘Swara Tsotsi’ was launched by the MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Dickson Masemola in June by conducting roadblocks, stop and searches, compliance inspections at businesses, including liquor outlets, and tracing wanted criminal suspects around Polokwane under the theme: Together we will make Limpopo a province of choice.

The operation saw over 250 platoon of Police Officers deployed and it is comprised of different SAPS units, traffic police, Department of Home Affairs and Health Department officials.

When addressing the masses in Thohoyandou, MEC Masemola reiterated that Friday operation was not a visit to the Vhembe region, but to pronounce his department’s presence in town and that they are all out to push back the frontiers of crime to where they are supposed to be.

“All our Police stations are hard at work because we have to intensify work around crime combating and restore law and social order in societies. Given the already work we have done from many parts of this town, the feedback I’m getting and round out reports will give us clear accounts of the work done in the few hours spent here.” Masemola said

Residents raised concerns to the MEC that they live in fear due to the fact that criminals seems to be in charge of the Thohoyandou area and occupying a larger space in the Thulamela Municipal area. In his response to this effect, MEC Masemola hinted that, despite instructing the police to go extra miles to do night patrolling, what is essential is to mobilize the community itself and to be highly organized in terms of CPFs, CSFs and straight community co-operations together with the police.

“Where communities are highly organized, crime and criminalities are rooted of their localities. Criminals would be pushed to a corner and that can only happen if communities come on board and give us intelligence information so that the police might be clear about that. Nothing is impossible by working together.” Hinted MEC Masemola

MEC Masemola concluded his address by announcing that the next operation ‘Swara Tsotsi’ will be heading to Sekhukhune District in August, as a continuation and in an effort of implementing its mandate to combat crime across the province.