Criminals are besieging Joburg – city official

With crime soaring in Johannesburg, member of the city’s mayoral committee for public safety David Tembe says lawlessness continues to dim the city’s shine.

Focusing on the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) public safety performance statistics for the first six months of this year, Tembe said it was clear the city was under siege.

“Criminals are roaming our streets, threatening livelihoods and killing innocent civilians,” he said.

There was a huge expectation placed on the JMPD to do more and it increased every day. “Although we operate on a shoestring budget, we have to keep everyone safe and we are not going to give up,” he said.

“We live in an ever-changing and evolving law enforcement landscape. JMPD has an obligation to embrace these changes, thus ensuring that the city’s strategic priorities are implemented and residents can be safe and free.”

Tembe said condemning “heinous crimes” and acts was not enough. “To that end, when I took office in December last year, I made sure we reintroduced Operation Buya Mthetho,” he said.

Operation Buya Mthetho is a joint operation between all key city departments and entities such as JMPD, environmental health, social development, infrastructure services, the city’s legal department and development planning.

“Our fight with criminal elements in the city even extends beyond this city,” he said. According to JMPD director Mathokoza Kgaswane, 1 844 people had been arrested for drunk driving, which was the largest portion of 3 200 arrests made by the JMPD.

Traffic officials had also stopped 268 653 vehicles and searched 228 947, issued 94 723 citations and impounded 752 vehicles. The report also showed 32 arrests for assault, 24 arrests for liquor-related matters, 17 for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and 83 operations against land invasions.

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