By Augustine Ehikioya
To eliminate crimes in Limpopo Province, Police officers in the area have arrested 1377 suspects for murder, rape, armed robbery, drugs dealing and other crimes.
The operations, which led to the arrest of the suspects, whose age ranged from 21 years to 54 years, were conducted in all the districts in the Province from 29 August, 2021 to 06 September, 2021.
A statement by Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Office of the Provincial Commissioner Limpopo disclosed the arrest. It was made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA) on Wednesday.
Mojapelo said “The Police in Limpopo continue to tighten the grip on criminality as simultaneous operations conducted in all Districts across the Province from 29 August, 2021 until 06 September, 2021, led to the arrest of 1377 suspects aged between 21 and 54.
“The suspects were arrested for various offences including rape, murder, armed robberies, attempted murder, assault, burglaries, stock theft, MITP, dealing in drugs, possession of unlawful firearms and ammunition and Contravention of the Disaster Management Act regulations.”
It disclosed that items recovered included firearms, drugs comprising crystal meth, dagga, mandrax, nyaope, motor vehicles, suspected stolen properties, counterfeit cigarettes and liquor.
The operations, it said, comprised members of SAPS derived from various units in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies and “were executed through roadblocks, stop and searches, raiding of unlicensed businesses including liquor outlets and tracing of wanted suspects.”
Mojapelo said the Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has lauded the Police for their persistent efforts in fighting crime in the Province and for making the recoveries.
The statement added that some of the arrested suspects have started appearing before the local magistrate’s courts for the various crimes.
The statement went further to give details of the various arrest made.
According to the statement, foreign owned shops and other businesses in Mopani District were the targets of armed criminals.
The criminals were terrorizing the area, allegedly “committing business robberies using a white Toyota Corolla as a getaway vehicle. On Thursday 02 September, 2021, a similar vehicle with five occupants was spotted along the Tickyline road.
“A team of operatives from the Tzaneen Tracking Team (TTT), Mopani Detectives assisted by Willie of Wilkie K9 and Letaba Security jointly operating in the area cornered the said vehicle and arrested all five suspects.”
Explosives, firearms and ammunition, clothing, number plates for different vehicles and 13 cellphones, the statement said, were found in the vehicle and confiscated.
It added “One of the firearms was reported to have been robbed from a Security Company in Bolobedu. The suspects have been linked to business robberies that plagued the area for some time.”
The statement went on “The Waterberg District continues to succeed in tackling cases of business robberies taking place along the N1 and R101 roads in which criminals target motorists by placing spikes at some places on these roads and then rob them at gun point after experiencing punctures.
“On Monday 06 September, 2021, the Mokopane Crime Prevention, Modimolle Dog Unit, Mokopane CIG and Detectives successfully tracked down the suspects allegedly responsible for these robberies. Two were arrested and were found in possession of spikes carried in a bag, firearm and ammunition, plier apparently used to cut the fence along the road.
“One of the suspects is employed as a Security Guard at one of the Security Companies in the area and the other is an undocumented foreign national. The suspects have been linked to several robberies committed along the said roads.” The statement added
On 4th September, 2021, the statement said, the Detectives from Seshego SAPS arrested three suspects aged between 32yrs and 54yrs in connection with the murder of a 37 male victim the previous day, on 03 September, 2021 at Moletjie GaMakibelo.
“The deceased was severely assaulted with sharp objects and succumbed to the injuries on arrival at the hospital.”
It also said “Two suspects involved in a spate of armed robberies in and around Mahwelereng Policing precinct were finally arrested on 01 September, 2021 during an Intelligence driven joint operation by Mahwelereng and Mokopane Detectives.
“The suspects aged 26yrs and 31yrs were found in possession of unlicensed firearm and one of the robbed cellphones at their homesteads in GaMadiba village.”
The prompt reaction by Crime Prevention and Vispol members from Bela-Bela and Modimolle jointly with Highway Patrol Team, the statement said, led to the arrest of three suspects aged between 28yrs and 39yrs, shortly after they committed business robbery at a clothing store at Bela-Bela mall on Friday 03 September, 2021.
“The suspects were arrested in Modimolle and the getaway vehicle, stolen cellphones to the value of R500,000:00 were recovered,” it stated.
For Friday 3rd September, 2021, the statement disclosed that Groblersdal Crime Intelligence Unit and Crime Prevention members supported by Gunmary Security arrested a 27-year-old suspect for possession of copper cables with an estimated street value of R15,000:00.
“The suspect was driving along the R25 Vaalfontein road outside Groblersdal town.”
Also the Police in Lebowakgomo jointly with Capricorn District Tracing team on Thursday 03 September, 2021, arrested a 43 year old suspect for dealing in crystal meth drugs at his house in Extension 73, Lebowakgomo.
“During the search, nine small plastic bags containing the drugs with the estimated street value of R500:00 were confiscated,” the statement said.
On 2nd September, 2021, the SAPS Vhembe District Trio Task Team jointly with the Detectives also “arrested two suspects aged 28yrs and 32yrs at Tshivhulani village in Thohoyandou area for stock theft after they were found in possession of two cattle carcasses reportedly stolen at Makhuvha Tshilivho village,” it said.