Minister of police, Bheki Cele, launched a crime operation called Buya Mthetho last week Thursday.The operation saw Kempton Park CBD being one of the focus areas in town.
The police launched the operation to identify and address the root cause of serious and violent crimes such as house and business robberies, vehicle and truck hijackings, cash-in-transit heists, associated robberies, ATM and drop safe bombings and many more violent crimes.
A block of flats on Long Street was raided during the operation that started at 4am and police found drugs had been flushed down toilets.
“All Gauteng cluster members were part of the operation which also stretched to Tembisa,” said Capt Jethro Mtshali, spokesperson for Kempton Park SAPS.
“We had different units present, which included the vehicle inspection service who helped identify stolen vehicles.”
The operation was also aimed at radically reducing the volume of crime, especially in Gauteng, which contributes 40 per cent of the national crime statistics of South Africa.
The officers also went to Kempton Park Taxi Rank and performed random stop-and-searches on commuters, taxi drivers and taxis. Some of the commuters were heard thanking officers.
Express also caught up with a parade at Avion Park which was led by Brig Samuel Maredi, station commander at Kempton Park Police Station.
“Community members are happy with this morning’s operation. The message is sent and we need to continue,” Maredi said as he addressed the officers.
“We need police to do their jobs effectively.”
Maredi divided the officers into three groups and assigned areas to them as they continued with the operation. Among other things, the groups focused on roadblocks, visibility and validation of second-hand goods.
Shops on West Street were among those raided. On arrival of the police, some shops were suddenly closed while others were abandoned for hours.
With the help of Ekurhuleni traffic wardens, police confiscated counterfeit goods from abandoned shops and some of those still open on West Street, Central Avenue and Pretoria Road. Street vendors located on the same streets also had some of their goods confiscated.
Operation Buya Mthetho is a multi-disciplinary integrated strategic and operational plan that seeks to respond to the call for an urgent intervention to address and stabilise the surge of lawlessness. It aims to restore safety and public confidence in Gauteng and other parts of the country.
With some of the shops closed and fewer street vendors, the streets were less busy which was appreciated by community members. Some told Express, “Thank you to the police. They need to continue with such operations because we don’t feel safe walking in town anymore. We are afraid to shop with our children. Police need to help us reclaim our freedom, confidence and streets from criminals.”
Cele officially launched the operation in Tembisa and was also among those in action.