EMALAHLENI – Crime blitz in this coal-mining town dealt some unsuspecting residents to either to either spend the night behind bars or in the comfort of their homes for contravention of COVID-19 regulations.
The MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Vusi Shongwe‘s aim to clamp down on crime here and in all other areas in the province. Shongwe has once more called on communities to comply with the COVID-19 Regulations. Shongwe expressed these sentiments during the Overall Friday Programme which was conducted in and around Emalahleni on night.
During the operation, over 20 people were arrested for failure to be at their places of residence in line with the curfew.
This occurred after raids which were carried out throughout the town’s entertainment spots which included News Cafe, Spur, Capuccino, Capello, Tsepo’s Shisanyama, including spots in the township.
Some popular entertainment venues were conspicuously closed and quiet on the day, which smacked of prior tip-offs.
One person was arrested for being in possession of a vehicle that was reportedly stolen in Embalenhle.
The police also brought to book about seven more suspects who were wanted in connection with assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm cases in the area.
Other suspects were caught for offences that include house breaking and theft, driving under the influence of alcohol and carjacking.
About nine liquor premises and three filling stations were also visited during the operation
Shongwe welcomed these successes, but he appealed to the police to spare no effort in making Emalahleni a crime-free area.
He further emphasized that government’s efforts to eradicate crime will bear fruits if the police do their work with integrity and show no leniency towards perpetrators of crime.
“Our police must not show any leniency towards criminals. The rogue elements must be mercilessly pursued and no stone should be left unturned.
“The police must respect themselves and do their work with utmost integrity in order to win the respect of communities. It cannot be accepted that law enforcement officers are constantly accused by communities for failure to do their work properly,” he said.
Shongwe also called on liquor traders to operate within the ambit of Disaster Management Act by ensuring full compliance to all COVID-19 health protocols.
He observed that some liquor outlets and renowned eateries visited, there was no social distancing among patrons.
“Taverners must not only prioritize profits but they should comply with all COVID-19 Health protocols.
“Adequate social distancing among the patrons must be ensured at all times in these establishments,” added the MEC.
He is also reminding communities that the roll of vaccination programme does not mean the pandemic is over as numbers are rapidly rising.
He encourage communities to continue wearing their masks in public, washing their hands or sanitizing on regular basis and also avoid large gatherings.
Overall Friday Programme is implemented from Friday to Sunday in identified areas as part of promoting law enforcement visibility and fighting crime through multidisciplinary approach.