Mob justice a concern in Limpopo crime stats

MEC for Transport and Community Safety Florence Radzilani, with provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe.

MEC for Transport and Community Safety Florence Radzilani, with provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe.

Published Feb 29, 2024


Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe says there are still challenges in escalation of murder cases, as opposed to the comparable period of statistics last financial year.

She said what is more concerning is the mob related incidents which were reported.

Crime incidents in Limpopo increased between October and December last year according to the crime stats that were released on Tuesday.

She was joined by the MEC for Transport and Community Safety Florence Radzilani and SAPS management.

According to the third quarter statistics, overall crime in Limpopo increased by 0.7% between October and December last year, with more than 28 000 crimes reported.

Provincial SAPS commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe said through Operation Vala Umgodi, they dealt with 88 cases of illegal mining and detained 220 suspects involved in illicit mining activities, as well as immigration violations.

She added that among these suspects, there were 190 foreign nationals and 45 South Africans. A total of 44 illegal immigrants were deported.

In addition, 28 946 suspected were arrested through Operation kulula and various operations conducted across the province.

The arrests include among others, 196 suspects of murder, 83 for attempted murder, 193 for robbery, 237 for rape, 46 for sexual assault, 63 for robbery aggravating, 7 for carjacking, 29 for house robbery, 91 for business robbery, 2272 for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and 1560 for common assault.

She further said strategies were implemented to combat illicit cigarettes and drugs, resulting in the seizure of drugs worth R6 million and illicit cigarettes valued at R3,5m during the period under review.

“This notable achievement is commendable to all the organised crime teams that participated in this noble operation for their bravery and unwavering support we received from the communities, who are tired of the exploitation of our economy as well as the negative impact drugs are having on the young and old citizens of our province,” she added.

She expressed her gratitude for the exceptional work that was carried out by SAPS members in apprehending five suspects implicated in the tragic murder of Dr Malekutu Johannes Mehlape from the Department of Education, who was fatally shot at Mankweng in December.

“This unpleasant act that claimed his life had a deep-seated impact on our community. However, thanks to the unwavering efforts of our members, finally justice will be served as we prepare a watertight case against the perpetrators,” said Hadebe.

She also noted a raise in sexual assault cases and is encouraged by reductions observed across various categories, to the extent that the sexual offenses category decreased.

She further applauded the improvement made by Thohoyandou Police Station by moving from one spot lower in the top 30 stations nationally, while Seshego and Mankweng are still lingering in the list.

The province also saw a decrease in the number of victims of GBV over the age of 18.

"We are more concerned about the raise in the number of GBV cases against children under the age of 17.“

Radzilani expressed her satisfaction with how the police conducted their investigations into the murder cases and how they managed to quell and suppress possible community unrest throughout the province.

She has also noted the decline in sexual offenses and encouraged communities to take an active part in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.

Radzilani also added that the extensive hours of the alcohol trade remain a cause for concern in the fight against crime.

“Most of the murder and attempted murder cases were recorded at liquor outlets, during the period under review, therefore it is for this reason that the Limpopo government will continue its crusade to amend the Limpopo Liquor Act and ensure that it is in-tandem with our attempts to normalise our crime levels,” she said.

Pretoria News

Lesego Montso