The South African Police Service’s 72-hour activation plan has been key to the recent crime combating successes, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Tuesday.
Among the plan’s success is the arrest of suspects in the Vlakfontein mass murder and the fatal shooting of Cape Town attorney Pete Mihalik. The intervention, Cele said, has also seen 46 suspects arrested from August 2017 to date.
“The 72-hour activation plan continues to yield positive results. We commend the tireless efforts of our men and women in blue, who secured the swift arrest of two suspects in the murder of Cape Town lawyer Pete Mihalik, as well as the murder suspect and his accomplice for the multiple murders of the Khoza family in Vlakfontein, where… seven bodies were found in a house on 29 October 2018,” Cele said.
Cele said while he is satisfied with the arrests, he was concerned that some dangerous criminals are being granted bail.
“To this end, we are working very closely with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to ensure a drastic reduction in the granting of bail to these violent criminals. We are confident that with these interactions, we can secure more speedy conviction and lengthy sentences in such cases,” he said.
He applauded SAPS’s improved Crime Intelligence Division, saying it is producing sterling work.
National safer festive season
Last week, Cele launched the 2018/19 annual national safer festive season in Port Elizabeth. Themed ‘Operation Quiet Storm’, the project is aimed at making South Africa a safer place during the festive season.
During this period, police will conduct nationwide operations in every town, village and township until the end of January 2019.
“The focus will be on visible policing and conducting special crime awareness and prevention operations,” Cele said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Cele, on 2 November launched the Anti-Gang Unit in Hanover Park, Cape Town, in line with the National Development plan 2030.
Cele said the Anti-Gang Unit further demonstrates SAPS’s commitment to nip crime in the bud, as it had a similar intervention in crime-ridden Westbury, Gauteng.
“It is evident from the numerous successes mentioned that we are stabilising the scourge of cash-in-transit robberies and that we will continue until we win the war on crime,” the Minister said.
Cele announced to reporters on Tuesday that the police had recently arrested two Danish citizens, Anna Britta Nielsen and her son Jimmy Hayat, wanted in Denmark for fraud amounting to about R247 million.
Hayat was arrested 30 October 2018 at OR Tambo International Airport while trying to leave the country. About R5 000 cash was seized from him. Two diamonds were found in his bags that were delivered by his associate.
“He appeared at Kempton Park Magistrates Court on 1 November 2018. His case was postponed to 8 November 2018,” Cele said.
Nielsen was arrested on 5 November 2018 in Sandton and an amount of R648 700 in cash was confiscated. She appeared at Randburg Magistrates Court and her case was postponed to 8 November 2018 for an extradition enquiry.
“Arrests of this nature also serve as a warning to all other people who commit crimes and seek refuge in our country; South Africa is not a safe haven for criminals,” Cele said.