Over the past weekend, police officers in KwaZulu-Natal conducted focussed Festive Season operations within the 185 police precincts which resulted in more than 622 arrests. Those that were arrested were linked to various crimes which ranged from murder; attempted murder; assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; robbery; burglary; pointing of firearm; rape; theft, fraud; assault; business robbery; stock theft and attempted carjacking.
A number of those arrested were for possession of drugs; possession of firearm; possession of suspected stolen property and violation of protection orders. Seventeen illegal liquor outlets were shut down with the traders being charged for dealing in liquor. Police operations also netted a number of persons who were charged for traffic violations and driving under the influence of liquor. Police seized a large number of firearms; gas guns; homemade firearms; ammunition; five stolen bakkies; liquor; counterfeit clothing; counterfeit money; counterfeit bags and an assortment of drugs which include mandrax; heroin and cocaine.
Twelve individuals were arrested for murder; 35 for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; 33 were arrested for business and armed robberies; 113 were arrested for drug-related offences; five were charged for domestic related incidents whilst three warrants of arrest were executed.
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended police officers for the arrests. "We remain concerned with the high number of incidents being reported in the vicinity of liquor establishments. During this Festive Season we will continue to focus our operations on legal and illegal liquor outlets and we appeal to citizens to consume alcohol in a responsible manner," he said.