Operation Shanela nets 597 suspects in the North West

The South African Police Service (SAPS) conducted various high-density operations in the North West province last week, which resulted in 597 suspects being arrested for various crimes.

The suspects were arrested during an Operation Shanela initiative which was held from Monday, 23 October 2023, to Sunday, 29 October 2023.

According to a statement by the police, among others, four arrests were made for drug-related offences, 11 for dealing in liquor, 21 for driving under the influence of liquor, three for possession of firearms and ammunition and 66 were undocumented persons who were handed over to the Department of Home Affairs for further processing.

The following arrests were made for serious and violent crimes: six for murder, four for attempted murder, five for armed robbery, 149 for assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, three for business robbery, 41 for burglary, 30 for malicious damage to property, 13 for rape and 104 for common assault.

During the operations, two firearms with ammunition, eight cellular phones as well as a variety of drugs and precious metals were confiscated.

Some of the suspects have already appeared before court while others are expected to make their respective court appearances this week in various courts in the province.

During the operations, 93 premises were searched, 12 road blocks were held and 11 unlicensed liquor premises were closed down.

In one of the incidents, a 45-year-old police officer was attacked with a sjambok in Extension 4, in Lebaleng location, Makwassie, by an alleged tuck shop owner while a law enforcement team was conducting consumer inspections.

The suspect attacked the police officer from behind, while he was removing expired products from the tuck shop. The officer was taken to a local clinic for medical treatment.

Investigations are underway and an arrest is imminent, said police.

The Provincial police Commissioner in the North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, said an attack on a police officer is an attack against the state and it will not be tolerated.

He warned that consumption of expired goods could cause people to fall ill and even die, therefore the police will continue to work hard together with other government departments to ensure the safety of the community.

Source: South African Government News Agency