Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, accompanied by his entourage, amongst others, Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale, Member of the Executive Committee (MEC), for Transport, Safety and Liaison Ms Nobandla Bloem and the National Commissioner, General Kehla Sitole embarked on the Festive Season Operation inspection tour to the ZF Mgcawu District in Upington.

South African Police Service members in the Northern Cape, converged at the Mxolisi Dickie Jacobs Stadium for a parade inspection, displaying their readiness to execute operational duties during festive season and beyond.

Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele in his address during the inspection lauded the South African Police Service members in the Northern Cape for dedicating their lives, by upholding Section 205 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law.

“The National Commissioner had cancelled your vacation leave, you are not going on holiday, you will be protecting those who are on holiday to ensure that they are enjoying their vacations, free of crime. Press hard on criminals, squeeze the space, make use of the resources at your disposal to defend your lives, leave no stones unturned, close down shebeens and you do not negotiate, act decisively with domestic violence, gender based violence.

The criminals must feel our presence and they must run away. Extra safety must be given to women and children, no women must abused by abusive men, and they should not be turned away, when they arrive at the police station to report crime. Your duty is to go and arrest the perpetrators. We do not expect you to re-traumatise the victims of gender based violence” he said.

Minister applauded the South African Police Service in Northern Cape including community members, in the fight against rape and abuse of women and children but implored them to strive for zero tolerance in the fight against violence against women and children. He continued to make a call to the Community Policing Forums to mobilise communities to fight against the scourge of domestic violence.

The National Commissioner, General Kehla Sitole in his address when he outlined the purpose of the Ministerial visits and inspection in the Northern Cape he said, “Over two months ago we launched Safer Festive Season Operation, in the North West to demonstrate the South African Police Service’s capabilities to deliver Safer Festive Season Operations to our communities in the country. This was followed by Provincial launches of the Festive Season Operation in Northern Cape Kimberley, Frances Baard District.

Today in Upington it marks the seventh instalment of Ministerial visits to provinces. Similar inspection were conducted in other six provinces across the country. The visits and the inspection of the Festive Season Operation is to reiterate our commitment to ensure the safety of our communities over the festive season period and beyond.

The festive season operation is an integrated crime prevention operation to protect all residents in the country as well as tourists and to continue to enforce Covid-19 Disaster Management Regulations. The Operational plan outlines the priority areas of focus, as we know that the festive season is characterised by lot of festivities, such as entertainment, travelling. During this time will address crime hot spots as per crime pattern analysis known to be prevalent this time. We are ready to deal with any opportunistic crimes”. Encouraged SAPS members to remain vigilant and discipline during the execution of the operational duties and optimally make use of the available resources.

Inspections were conducted at the static road block on the N14, Upington Weigh Bridge.

A multidisciplinary static road block manned by members of the South African Police Service, National Traffic Police, Northern Cape Provincial Traffic Officers, David Kuiper Municipality Traffic Officers and Home Affairs Officials . The focus of the static road block was to ensure that the road users and motorists are travelling in road worthy vehicles, searches for stolen vehicles, transportation of illicit goods, including stock theft and stolen fire arms.

The inspection tour proceeded to the Paballelo community in Upington, where the Minister and his entourage engaged with the community members.

A few community members expressed their concern to the Minister about lawlessness of tavern owners and shebeens. The Minister made a call to the local police to tighten the laweforcement on shebeens and taverns, to close them down and not to negotiate with them.

General Kehla Sitole distributed face masks, as he realised and saw many community members who were gathered around the Minister not wearing facial mask.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner in the Northern Cape, Major General Joey Kers, when delivering the vote of thanks remarks, thanked all stake holders who attended, including the Minister of Police, National Commissioner, Executive Major of David Kruiper Municipality, the entire entourage, Community Police Board Chairperson, Mr Homan and police officers in attendance.

Source: South African Police Service