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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Hawks arrested more South Africans than foreign nationals in second quarter

According to the Hawks, fraud contributed the highest number of arrests in the country during this quarter.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) arrested 801 suspects nationally between July and September, head Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya said on Thursday.

Of the 801 suspects, 791 were natural persons, while 10 were entities.

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Two hundred and forty four (244) of the arrests – 234 natural persons and 10 entities – ended in convictions and sentences.

South Africans made up 72% of the 791 arrests of natural persons, with 570 arrested during the second quarter of the 2023/2024 financial year period, compared to 221 foreign nationals.

Top five crimes

According to Lebeya, the top five national priority crimes arrests were for fraud, (173 arrests), precious metals and diamonds (172 arrests), narcotics (52 arrests), cash-in-transit robberies (48 arrests) and corruption (37 arrests).

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“During these arrests, the DPCI also seized various exhibits including precious metals and diamonds, endangered species, vehicles, cash, firearms, ammunition, counterfeit goods, explosives and electronic devices worth [over] R92.4 million,” said Lebeya.


Out of the 244 convictions during this period, fraud contributed the highest number with 75 – made up of 62 South Africans, six foreign nationals and seven companies.

Precious metals and diamonds, with 51 persons convicted. Of these, 30 persons and two companies were convicted for a pattern of racketeering activity and money laundering.

193 South Africans were convicted and sentenced, while 84 were foreign nationals.

The foreign nationals consisted of 48 Zimbabweans, seven Chinese, seven Mozambicans, four Nigerians, three Tanzanians, three Basotho, three Pakistanis, three Ethiopians, two Bangladeshis, two Zambians, one Canadian and one Ghanaian.

Serious crimes and convictions

Lebeya said during the period 35 police officials were murdered in the country, with 37 arrests made.

This as the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) and Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), clash on ideologies of how crime should be tackled.

Earlier this month, Popcru criticised the “reckless” comments by Ipid which had expressed concern over the number of suspects dying at the hands of the police.

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Ipid spokesperson Robbie Raburabu said Ipid was concerned about the high rate of crime in the country and the number of police officers dying at the hands of criminals. While he appreciated police, who did their job in protecting communities, he said criminals were meant to be arrested, not killed.

This as national police commissioner general Fannie Masemola called on officers to defend themselves against criminals.

Lebeya further announced 172 illegal mining suspects were arrested during the quarter, while 40 were nabbed on kidnapping-related charges. A multidisciplinary kidnapping task team rescued eleven victims.

Drugs, including clandestine laboratories valued at just more than R11 million, were seized, with 52 suspects arrested.

Of the 52 suspects, 30 are South Africans, while 22 are foreign nationals.

Four clandestine drug laboratories were dismantled, with seven arrests made.

“It is, therefore, imperative to educate our communities to stop the demand for drugs while law enforces the stopping of the supply,” said Lebeya.

ALSO READ: ‘Criminals must be arrested, not killed,’ says Ipid, but Masemola says police can’t sit back and pray

For this quarter, 48 arrests were made in relation to cash-in-transit robberies, with two convictions secured.

“Cash-in transit heists continue to be a thorn in the country’s economy, and the DPCI in collaboration with private organisations continue to strengthen the fight against these crimes.”

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