Statement by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele giving the report on status of National Stabilisation Interventions
The National Commissioner of Police, General Sitole
All Deputy National Commissioners
The Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations
All SAPS members and personnel
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
A very good morning to all present and thank you for this opportunity to provide feedback on the National Stabilisation Interventions to effectively deal with crime.
Today I am before you much more confident about the work police is doing on cash in transit heists than I was on the 4th of June this year given that since then over 230 cash in transit robbers are off our streets.
During the period of April to July 2018 National Stabilisation Interventions were directed at addressing identified priority provinces known as Northern Provinces to focus on cash in transit (CIT) heists particularly after the sudden upsurge in CIT robberies during April and May this year. During the heists armoured vehicles were being attacked by robbers with heavy calibre weapons and sometimes even explosives namely Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo provinces.
Through these intervention processes high profile targets were arrested in these priority provinces and the continued SAPS presence in these provinces led to the displacement of crime towards predominantly rural parts of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and the Western Cape.
As from the 01 April 2018 to the 04th of November 2018, 118 cash in transit robberies have been recorded across the nine provinces. Compared to the same period last year of 184 cases recorded in 2017 registering a reduction of 36%. However, during the latter period we have a significantly higher number of culprits being arrested compared to the former period.
To date arrests and seizures for the period of 04 April to 04 November 2018 are as follows;
- Number of Arrests 237
- Vehicles recovered 92
- Firearms recovered 78
- Ammunition recovered 1402
- A substantial amount of money has also been recovered.
We can attribute a great deal of these successes to the mobilisation of the 72-hour Activation Plan. This plan entails the maximum mobilization of resources including Crime Intelligence, Forensic Experts, the Hawks, seasoned detectives and tactical teams for a 72-hour period to ensure that critical information, intelligence and evidence that ensure a breakthrough in investigations is not lost.
Through our crime intelligence multi-disciplinary driven operations over the past six weeks we have arrested suspects while plotting to commit cash-in-transit robberies. Nearly 30 suspects were arrested in Midrand and Katlehong in the Gauteng Province as well as Riveria Park in Mahikeng and Brits in the North West Province.
The Intervention Teams acted on a tip off’s from crime intelligence resulting in the following:
In Midrand suspects were arrested in planning stages
- 12 suspects arrested
- 03 firearms recovered
- 90 rounds of ammunition
- 06 hijacked vehicles
In Reviera Park, Mahikeng
- 09 suspects arrested
- 06 recovered firearms including a AK-47 rifle handguns and Uzi
- Several rounds of ammunition
- 04 luxury cars a Jeep, Audi Q5, Ford Ranger and Mercedes bens ML
Furthermore in the North West province in Brits
- One SAPS Sergeant arrested
- 02 vehicles a BMW and a Mercedes Benz
- The BMW belonging to the sergeant contained; several sets of police uniform, reflector jackets and one handgun with the serial number erased.
In Katlehong a multidisciplinary team swiftly arrested
- 07 suspects
- 04 firearms recovered
- Rounds on ammunition
- 02 vehicles
Crime intelligence continues to combat CIT robberies stopping robbers in their tracks by arresting robbers before committing these heinous crimes.
Since the National Commissioner and myself pronounced on the National Stabilisation Interventions to curb serious crimes, particularly CIT robberies, we have seen lesser and lesser of them taking place but we are not out of the woods.
This is one of the crimes that seem to instill tremendous amount of fear in South Africans.
The 72-hour turnaround plan continuous to yield positive results we commend the tireless efforts of our men and woman in blue who secured the swift arrest of two suspects in the murder of Cape Town lawyer Pete Mihalik as well as murder suspect and his accomplice for the multiple murders in Vlakfontein of the Khoza family. This is in the backdrop of seven bodies found in a house on the 29th of October 2018 in Vlakfontein.
Tremendous progress has been made in KwaZulu-Natal by the political killing task team, since the formation of the new team in July 2018.
48 people have been arrested with several sentences, as the SAPS we will continue to work hard to bring these types of killings to an end.
While I am satisfied with the 49 convictions since August 2017 to date we are still concerned that this caliber of criminals are being granted bail. To this end we are working very closely with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to ensure a drastic reduction in the granting of bail to these violent criminals. We are confident that with these interactions we can secure more speedy conviction and lengthy sentences in such cases.
I want to applaud our new and improved Crime Intelligence Division under the Leadership of Lieutenant General Jacobs for the sterling work they are doing together with the multi-disciplinary teams that are on the ground sourcing information and ensuring we intercept cash in transit robbers while they are in their planning stages.
I can report that we have made significant inroads in breaking the backs of the syndicates involved in CIT robberies. While I am satisfied with the progress, our fight with these criminals is far from over.
On the 01st of November we launched the 2018/2019 annual national safer festive season in Port Elizabeth under the theme “Operation Quiet Storm” which is aimed at making South Africa a safe place during the festive season, police will conduct nation-wide operations and every town, village and township will be painted blue until at least the end of January 2019. The focus will be on visible policing and conducting special crime awareness and prevention operations.
To further ensure that we a create a safe and secure environment on Friday the 02nd of November 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Anti-Gang Unit in Hanovar Park this was in line with the National Development plan 2030. Therefore, further demonstrating our commitment as South African Police Service ensuring that people of South Africa are feel safe such as we have done in Westbury, Sophiatown.
It is evident from the numerous successes mentioned that we are stabilising the scourge of Cash-In-transit robberies and that we will continue until we win the war on crime.
On another matter making international news, two Danish citizens, Anna Britta Nielsen and her son Jimmy Hayat, have been arrested. Anna Britta Nielsen, a Danish woman who was wanted in Denmark for fraud of 247 million in South African rands, approximately 100 million in Danish currency.
On the evening of the 30 October 2018, Hayat was arrested by the SAPS at OR Tambo International Airport on his one-way ticket trip out of the country. R5000-00 cash was seized from him. On 30th October 2018, two diamonds were found from his bags that were delivered by his associate. He appeared at Kempton Park Magistrate Court on 1st of November 2018, his case was postponed to 8 November 2018. On 5th of November 2018, Nielsen was arrested in Sandton and an amount of R648 700-00 in cash was confiscated. She appeared at Randburg Court and her case was postponed to the 08th of November 2018 for an extradition enquiry.
Arrests of this nature also serve as a warning to all other people who commit crimes and seek refuge on our country; South Africa is not a safe heaven for criminals.
I would like to commend the team that worked tirelessly to ensure that no stone is left unturned until the suspect are brought to account. The SAPS shall continue to collaborate with international communities in fighting crime.
In conclusion allow me to wish all Hindus a very happy Diwali. I understand that fireworks forms an integral part of the celebrations, however, I want to appeal to all users of fireworks to do so in a responsible manner.
I thank you.