KIMBERLEY – Operation Shanela, a multi-disciplinary high-density initiative, continues to assert the authority of the state in the Northern Cape through its ongoing weekly operations. The operation, focused on crime prevention and combat, ran from Thursday, 16 November to Sunday, 19 November 2023.
According to South African Police Service, these operations, driven by tactical intelligence and involving various South African Police Service (SAPS) Units, District offices, and police stations, were conducted in collaboration with numerous agencies, including the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Social Development, and Municipalities across all districts. Collectively, they executed 1,452 actions to address priority crimes in hotspot areas.
During the operation, law enforcement agencies carried out a variety of actions, including random stops and searches, resulting in 5,792 persons and 2,545 vehicles being searched. High visibility patrols, vehicle checkpoints, roadblocks, and visits to farms and mines were also part of the operation.
A notable success was achieved in the Frances Baard district where an intelligence-led operation led to the confiscation of contaminated fuel valued at R1 million from depots. Additionally, 252 suspects were arrested for a range of offenses including illicit mining, undocumented immigration, drug dealing, possession of illegal cigarettes, illegal liquor trading, possession of counterfeit goods, possession of drugs, robberies, assaults, housebreaking, theft, malicious damage to property, and driving under the influence.
Detectives also made significant strides by tracing and arresting 111 daily wanted suspects implicated in various crimes such as murder, rape, and assault. Seizures during the operations included alcoholic beverages, dangerous weapons, drugs like crystal meth, tik, dagga, mandrax, and cash.
The team further intensified efforts at general dealers and wholesale outlets, leading to the remarkable confiscation of illicit cigarettes, tobacco products, and expired goods valued at nearly R20 million. In total, 211 compliance inspections were conducted at various businesses including tuck shops, liquor outlets, second-hand goods dealers, and scrap metal dealers.
The Provincial Commissioner of the Northern Cape, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola, commended the collaborative efforts of the law enforcement agencies for the successful arrests and confiscations. She reiterated the SAPS’s commitment during the launch of the Safer Festive Season Operation in Upington, asserting that increased police presence and fortified efforts will ensure community safety and security during the festive season and beyond.