Operation Shanela: Crackdown on crime yields positive results – Masemola

National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola says Operation Shanela has been pivotal in reducing provincial crime rates.

National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola provided an update on the nationwide high-density operation known as “Operation Shanela”.

During a media briefing held at Vanderbijlpark Saps, Masemola highlighted the recent achievements of the operation and addressed other relevant issues of public interest.

The operation, which started on 8 May 2023, aims to combat crime and ensure public safety.

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‘Significant progress in reducing crime’ – Masemola

Masemola said Operation Shanela, led by provincial commissioners in each province, has been making significant progress in reducing crime.

He explained that the operation focuses on operations from Thursdays to Mondays, which is the peak reporting period for criminal incidents.


“During the period since the last update in Klipgat four weeks ago, 47 848 arrests have been made for various crimes across the country.

“Over the past two weeks alone, 14 909 suspects were apprehended for offences such as murder, attempted murder, rape, hijacking, assault, drug-related crimes, illegal possession of firearms, burglary, and other offences.

“Additionally, 2 114 illegal immigrants were arrested during this period,” he said. 

Drug dealing and abuse

Police have also been addressing the issue of drug dealing and abuse, which contributes significantly to contact crimes.

Recently, a seizure of 32 blocks of cocaine, valued at approximately R12.8 million, was made at the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape.

“Investigations are ongoing to determine the origin and destination of the drugs. Efforts to enforce compliance with liquor legislation and prevent the dealing of stolen and illicit goods at second-hand dealerships have also been prioritised,” Masemola said.

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Gun violence remains a concern

He reiterated that firearm-related violence remained a concern, particularly in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, and the Western Cape.

“Operation Shanela has led to the recovery and confiscation of close to 800 firearms, aiding in the prevention of their misuse and illegal circulation.”

 Masemola emphasised the importance of legal firearm owners taking necessary precautions to ensure the safekeeping of their weapons.

He also said that the Saps has been working to ensure stability within communities, particularly during service delivery protests.

The implementation of Project 10 000, which focuses on deploying additional police officers to enhance visibility and response times, has seen the recent graduation of over 550 newly trained officers.

“Furthermore, efforts are underway to re-enlist former Saps members in good standing to bolster detective services,” he said,

Saps makes use of drones in crime-fighting

Embracing technological advancements, the Saps has acquired its first batch of drones.

These drones will contribute to strengthening crime-fighting capabilities and addressing modern-day criminal activities.

Additionally, the Saps continues its crackdown on extortion at economic and construction sites, resulting in the arrest and conviction of numerous suspects involved in such criminal activities.

Masemola provides update on VIP Protection Unit assault

Masemola also addressed the assault involving members of the Saps Protection and Security Service (VIP Protection).

“The Saps promptly launched an investigation into the incident and identified the members involved. They are currently undergoing internal processes and face disciplinary action.

“The victims have also been identified, and a criminal case has been opened and is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid),” he confirmed.

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