Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa has warned South Africans to refrain from buying stolen goods during the festive season. Speaking at the launch of Operation Duty Calls Festive Season in Mpumalanga, Mthethwa said the campaign was not a mere crusade of empty words and paying lip-service, but a government-led and community-orientated campaign.
“We shall … continue to urge our communities to refrain from buying stolen goods, more especially around the festive period. It cannot be a normal situation that while some people labour very hard to better their lives, others would assume that they can easily get what does not rightfully belong to them,” he said.
The state BuaNews agency added Mthethwa said government had taken several steps to address this challenge, both through practical policing as well as legislation. The Second Hand Goods Act has been promulgated and the attendant regulations have been published for public comment. This act will help police to reduce the market and marketability of stolen goods. “We are serious and intent on dealing a telling blow to this destructive activity. We shall work to combine the current legislative measures with other campaigns, including communicating a message to communities not to buy stolen goods,” he said.
The minister said police would keep a close eye on local shebeens to catch those who drank and got behind the wheel. “We shall be tightening the screws in these areas and shall have no mercy on anyone found on the wrong side of the law,” he said. Mthethwa congratulated police in Mpumalanga for the number of cases they recorded since November 1. Police have arrested a total of 1 589 criminals, including 40 for murder, 58 for armed robbery, 14 for hijacking, 25 for house robberies, and 22 for business robberies.
In addition, 131 people have been arrested for rape, 818 for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, 215 for burglary at residential areas, 56 for stock theft and 58 illegal firearms have been recovered.
Mthethwa also affirmed the message that during the festive season, only law-abiding citizens would have jolly good holidays. “We know South Africans are passionate, caring and anti-crime citizens.We know for a fact that these vicious actions of rape, murder and robbery are actually carried out by a tiny minority among us,” he said.