113 people arrested as the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Johannesburg Metro Police
Department (JMPD) raid eight hijacked buildings in Doornfontein.
A total of 113 people were arrested when the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) raided eight hijacked buildings in Doornfontein, Region F, recently.
Other stakeholders involved in the joint operation included the City of Johannesburg’s Group Forensics and Investigation Services (GFIS) unit, headed by General Shadrack Sibiya; Department of Home Affairs; and the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS).
The suspects were arrested in connection with offences ranging from the violation of immigration laws and possession of drugs to running illicit businesses and building hijackings.
The raid came after seven people were killed when Cape York, a hijacked Johannesburg inner city multi-storey building, caught alight a few weeks ago. It also followed an instruction by Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba to GFIS and JMPD to rid the city of building hijackers and other perpetrators of crime.
During Friday’s operation, police confiscated cocaine, Mandrax tablets and marijuana. A man was arrested in connection with building hijacking. Another alleged building hijacker escaped and is believed to be still at large.
Police shut down nine businesses operating with licences purported to have been issued by the City’s Environmental Health Department. They also seized dangerous items, including gas cylinders, from illegal motor spares shops that posed a danger to local residents.
Officials imposed fines on business owners who were in contravention of the City’s by-laws. A car with a forged licence disc was impounded and seven knives were confiscated from illegal street vendors.
SAPS’s Major-General Dimakatso Ndaba said the operation had “yielded positive results”. “Law-abiding citizens appreciate our presence here.
“We have even been approached by some community members who offered to help us identify the criminals. So, to us, this is a great success because this area is one of Johannesburg’s crime hotspots,” Major-General Ndaba said.
JMPD Chief Superintendent Dan Machete said the raid was prompted by numerous cases reported to his unit. “The City is experiencing a high volume of building hijackings. As a result, the Executive Mayor has instructed us to target these buildings, which we believe are also harbouring criminals.
“These illegal activities can be detrimental to the City’s image and economy,” he said.
Machete said monthly statistics indicated that there was an urgent need for law enforcement agencies to intervene.