Soldiers and police combine to make Thaba Tshwane safer

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“Frequently committed” crimes and violations in Thaba Tshwane coupled with an instruction from a SA National Defence Force (SANDF) service chief saw soldiers and police take to the streets of the military suburb to make it safe and secure.

Named Operation Robust, it saw soldiers from the General De la Rey Regiment aided by motorcycle-mounted SA Army Specialised Infantry Capability (SAASIC) personnel with SA Police Service (SAPS) uniformed personnel move through what the operation’s communication officer Captain Desiree Kolokoto termed the Thaba Tshwane cantonment seeking offenders and wrongdoers.

Last, June Northern Military Police Region Regional Provost Marshal Colonel MM Swart said the suburb and its environs south-west of the Pretoria CBD was an area where at least 13 crimes and/or violations are “frequently committed”. Her observation came a month after SA Army Chief Lieutenant General Lawrence Mbatha instructed General Officer Commanding SA Army Support Formation, Major General Thituwi Mulaudzi to “implement stringent measures” addressing security concerns in Thaba Tshwane.

Among crimes and violations reported from the military suburb are sub-letting; illegal shebeens; drugs and drug trafficking; cable theft; prostitution; burglary and theft; assault; domestic violence; reckless and negligent driving; contravening immigration laws; robberies; damage to State property and fraud and corruption.

The most recently reported Op Robust deployment targeted, according to Kolokoto, drug dealing, undocumented personnel, prostitution, armed robbery, illegal taverns, subletting, illegal occupation of military houses and properties and crime in general.

She writes Op Robust achieved “numerous successes and positive outcomes”, saying only there was “a significant decrease in criminal activities especially in identified hotspot areas”.

“The significance of the operation was evident during the festive season,” she added.

Kolokoto on 22 January reported that a cordon and search operation at an identified hotspot yielded results in the form of 20 cases of beer confiscated at an illegal shebeen along with a refrigerator and “numerous empty beer cases”. A civilian was arrested at the shebeen, located in a house in Ikageng in Thaba Tshwane.

In addition to being home to a number of mainly landward force units and formations, Thaba Tshwane has specialist military education facilities, 1 Military Hospital, primary and high schools as well as sports facilities for residents and SANDF personnel.