WESTERN CAPE – The strategic deployment of police units as part of “Vala Konke” safer festive season operations in towns around the Garden Route District led to excellent results with the confiscation of drugs worth more than R300 000-00 and the arrest of 563 suspects for various offences.
These operations conducted in conjunction with Western Cape provincial traffic, municipal law enforcement and local traffic as well as other law enforcement agencies commenced on Friday, 16 December and concluded on Tuesday, 20 December 2022. Operations included static roadblocks, vehicle check points, stop and search operations, high density patrols in crime ridden areas, closing down of drug and illegal liquor outlets and visits to licenced liquor premises.
On Tuesday, 20 December 2022 Garden Route District Flying Squad members patrolling entry and exit routes to the region, noticed three persons at a hiking spot near the entrance to George, en-route to Oudtshoorn. The vigilant members immediately approached the trio of which one acted suspiciously. Police proceeded with a search when they found 950 Mandrax tablets and 428 grams of Tik with an estimated street value of R197 000 in the possession of a 25 year old woman. The members confiscated the find and arrested the suspect on a charge of possession of drugs.
Meanwhile, on Monday, 19 December 2022 Garden Route Crime Combatting Team (GCCT) conducted stop and search operations at the Knysna taxi rank in the central business district where they confiscated 400 grams of dagga. Police arrested a 32 year old man for possession of drugs.
Furthermore, on Sunday, 18 December 2022 Public Order Police and GCCT members searched a passenger bus at the Tsitsikamma Tollgate where they found 350 gram of Tik with an estimated street value of R120 000 stashed in a travel bag in the luggage compartment. The origin of the find forms part of an ongoing police investigation. The suspect is yet to be arrested.
In addition to above, forces on the ground arrested 107 suspects for drug related crimes, 42 for driving under the influence of liquor, 42 for possession of dangerous weapons, 5 for possession of ammunition and one for unlawful possession of ammunition. Police also confiscated one unlicensed fire arm, 10 rounds of ammunition, 172 Mandrax tablets, small quantities of heroin and Tik during the weekend operations.
Suspects arrested during the past weekend already made their first court appearances whilst the other suspects will appear in court once charged.
Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, lauded the those deployed for their vigilance and commitment to rid communities of items which threatens the safety of communities. “Safer Festive Season operations are in full swing with more boots on the ground to safeguard communities. Police deployment will be enhanced during this week to ensure that the public feel and are safe during the festive period, especially in the lead up to the upcoming weekend and beyond”, Lt Gen Patekile concluded.
Source: South African Police Service