In addition to housing higher defence learning institutions and any number of SA National Defence Force (SANDF) formations and units, Thaba Tshwane is a major military residential area.
Sadly, as indicated by Northern Military Police Region Regional Provost Marshal Colonel MM Swart, the suburb and its environs south-west of the Pretoria CBD is now where at least 13 crimes and/or violations are “frequently committed”.
This situation saw her initiating a forum to combat crime in the military suburb and surrounding areas, including Valhalla. Present at the launch function of the Crime Combatting Forum (CCF) on 3 June were officers commanding formations, units and other military facilities in Thaba Tshwane as well as residents and Northern Military Police Region personnel with Swart in the vanguard.
As reported by Major S Bapela from Military Police Division Corporate Communication, the crimes/violations regularly happening in the military suburb range from sub-letting; illegal shebeens; dugs and drug trafficking; cable theft; prostitution; burglaries and theft; assault; domestic violence; reckless and negligent driving; contravening immigration laws; robberies; damage to State property to fraud and corruption.
Swart led a tour of known hotspots during which it was explained that at least some Thaba Tshwane residents are illegally running businesses from houses – “like it’s normal” and “no consequences are faced by culprits, because they have been doing it for a long time”.
The concept of a community policing forum, similar to that found in civilian suburbs, was put forward and will be followed up at the next CCF meeting, scheduled for 1 July at the SA Air Force (SAAF) College, one of three SANDF higher learning institutions in Thaba Tshwane.