Operation Shanela has arrested half a million suspects 

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By Anita Dangazele

Operation Shanela, which aims at reducing crime levels across the country, has resulted in the arrest of more than 500,000 suspects since May 2023. 

Addressing the media in Pretoria on Sunday, Police Minister Bheki Cele commended the South African Police Service and gave details of arrests made in several high-profile cases, including the assassination attempt on the University of Fort Hare’s vice-chancellor, Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, and slain rapper AKA. 

“A breakthrough has been made in the murder case of popular musician ‘AKA’ Forbes, with the arrest of seven suspects who are in court, including the alleged masterminds. The national task team assigned to investigate the Fort Hare murders has made significant strides, with 24 suspects arrested to date,” Cele said. 

“At Nongoma, senior officials from the Nongoma Local Municipality including the municipal manager, the CFO have been arrested, answering to charges related to theft, fraud and money laundering,” Cele said.

He added that a suspect allegedly involved in the murder of a Rand Water executive in February had also been arrested. 

Cele further warned that police officers will not hesitate to protect themselves and the communities they serve against attacks by criminals.

“Criminals who do not surrender to law enforcement officers will face consequences,” he said.

“Police remain unapologetic in their aggressive and decisive response to crime. We will forever welcome the arrest of criminals and for them to have their day in court, but criminals are warned that if they engage the police, they will come short.”

Pictured above: South African Police members marching.

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