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Police boss promises improved readiness to combat serious crime

In July 1,173 illegal firearms were confiscated, says Masemola

National commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola.
National commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

National police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola says there will be tighter monitoring in crime hotspots across the country.

Speaking at a media briefing at the SAPS Academy in Tshwane on Monday, Masemola said SAPS is enhancing its policing methodologies to reduce serious crime.

Hotspots would be targeted from Fridays to Mondays as most serious crime happened during that period.

This amid a surge in violent crime over the past few weeks, particularly the spate of mass shootings in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

In July police confiscated 1,173 illegal firearms. Masemola said of these, 1,035 were confiscated in Gauteng.

“About 7,738 rounds of ammunition were confiscated, and some of these were seized during roadblocks, as well as stolen vehicles and drugs.

“This reflects our determination to intensify our efforts to deal with the proliferation of firearms [and with] serious crime.

“The past weekend [was] marred by shootings in KwaZulu-Natal with the emphasis of this crime pattern. Provincial resources to prevent this and apprehend the criminals have been mobilised.

More than 22,000 suspects were arrested across the country in July for crimes committed against society — 3,193 were arrested for assault, 576 for murder, 360 for attempted murder and 177 for sexual offences,” Masemola said.

Accompanying Masemola at the briefing were police minister Bheki Cele, Northern Cape premier Zamani Saul and newly-appointed Northern Cape commissioner Lt-Gen Koliswa Constance Otola.

Cele said Otola’s appointment had taken a long time because, under the constitution, the national commissioner and premier need to agree on the appointment. 

“If they don’t concur, [the matter] needs to come to me. We had a really bad time trying to resolve the matter.”

Other appointments included the first woman deputy national commissioner responsible for policing Lt-Gen Tebello Mosikili, who assumed duties a month ago.

Cele said South Africans need to feel safe.

“The surge in shootings, and now in KwaZulu-Natal where 12 people were killed in one police precinct, we’ve made it our responsibility to find those people.

In Krugersdorp we were lucky to meet the families. Those young children you hear stories about, you can imagine what happened, but when you see those people you see their young, talk to them, and realise the destruction is not temporary. We’ve tried to push supporting mechanisms.

Masemola said the tavern shootings were not organised and police were investigating various motives behind them.

Extortion and collection of money still need to be investigated and confirmed, but there's no connection between tavern [shootings]. It’s either drug-related or extortion-related.

SowetanLIVE


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