Close to 4,000 arrests to date in Operation Fiela


Minister Jeff Radebe has told South Africa the situation post the eruption of violence in April has stabilised and the country’s security forces, including elements of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), are maintaining law and order.

Following an outbreak of xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal that spread to Gauteng, President Jacob Zuma authorised the use and deployment of soldiers to assist police in stopping it. This saw 338 soldiers brought into to support police during raids and search and seizure patrols.

Addressing a media briefing yesterday Radebe re-affirmed government’s commitment to act decisively and swiftly in ridding communities of criminals.
“Operation Fiela – Reclaim is addressing security challenges in a structured and co-ordinated manner. We are determined to take back the communities from criminals and to re-assert the authority of the state,” he said adding the operation was not targeting law-abiding citizens or foreign nationals.
“Government will never authorise actions that are contrary to our Constitution and the laws of the country.”

Statistics on Operation Fiela – Reclaim show 3,914 arrests during various integrated operations in all nine provinces on charges related to various categories of crime.

As examples Radebe pointed out the arrest of two Ethiopians in connection with alleged human trafficking in Mankweng, Limpopo; the arrest of a Zimbabwean in possession of explosives valued at R100,000 at the Beit Bridge border post and the seizure of 31 firearms, 415 rounds of ammunition, 25 magazines and 31 arrests in a single operation in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal.

The SANDF deployment has been approved to the end of June at a cost of more than R4 million.