House robberies and hijackings were at the forefront when the police held their weekly O Kae Molao operation, but Krugersdorp would not be Krugersdorp if something weird was not thrown into the mix. This time it was the arm of a baboon.
Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela led the operation. He was joined by MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko and Mogale City’s Executive Mayor, Councillor Francis Makgatho.
Mawela explained that he visits different districts in the province each week and this week he visited the West Rand. The two areas they focused on were Krugersdorp and Muldersdrift.
“There are some challenges here, and we felt we would come and strengthen the arm of the station commander and the district commissioner,” he said.
They not only wanted to stamp the authority of the state, but also win back the hearts and minds of the community to show them they were not on their own.
Crime-prevention operations were held as well as two roadblocks – one at Beyers Naude Drive in Muldersdrift and the other on the R28 near McDonalds.
Mawela said the R28 is a problematic road because of hijackings, and house robbers using it as an escape route. Illegal mining is also a great concern in the area.
While searching a man’s car during the operation, police found the severed arm of a baboon wrapped in a cloth and hidden in a bag in the boot. The driver claimed that he was a traditional healer and that he was transporting the limb to one of his clients. The man was taken to the police station to be processed.
The police members, joined by representatives of other departments and the private sector also visited the Video informal settlement in Muldersdrift, following an incident in which a police van was set alight by frustrated and angry customers of a local shebeen over the weekend.
“I am told the settlement is not accessible by vehicle, you can only walk there. So you can see that it is a lost community. We will also go there and engage with the community, hear their issues and at the same time deal with illegal activities which are happening outside,” Mawela said.
He added that so far six suspects had been arrested for the torching incident, among them the shebeen owner. Liquor was also confiscated.
“We need to get involved in that community and also educate them. A police van is the community’s property, they can’t burn it. We do not have a lot of resources, so we need to take care of the limited ones we have. We discourage our people from vandalising public property, irrespective of whatever frustration you are experiencing,” Mawela said.
He reiterated that the police will not have mercy for those involved in criminal activities, and that they will be dealt with like the six who were arrested for torching the police van.
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