The police raided Tembisa on Wednesday, with a surprise anti-crime operation aimed at bringing order to one of the country’s top crime hotspots.
In response to a series of serious violent crimes, Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela launched the O Kae Molao operation with his officers.
Relations between the police and many residents are fragile. The police action follows a march by community residents to the Tembisa police station demanding it be shut down because of a lack of service.
The operation identified 237 suspects, 12 of which were for gender-based violence-related cases.
Lieutenant-General Mawela told Scrolla.Africa, “Tembisa is a national hotspot for gender-based violence crimes.” He said most crimes reported to the Tembisa police are assault, mob justice, and robberies.
Lieutenant-General Mawela said alcohol had also led to an increase in GBV crimes.
He condemned residents of the Winnie Mandela section where in many cases they take the law into their hands in acts of mob justice. “We cannot solve the crime by committing a crime,” he said.
The police put up a roadblock to take unroadworthy and unlicensed vehicles off the road.
Police sources said most people driving with expired drivers’ licences could blame the licence card printing machine reportedly sent to Germany for repairs.
After the roadblock, officers went street by street in the Winnie Mandela and Esselen Park sections where they spoke to residents about the importance of reporting crime.