More than 600 suspects were arrested in Gauteng over the weekend for contravention of Covid-19 disaster management regulations and other offences.
On Saturday, a 32-year old man was arrested in Kwa Thema, Ekurhuleni, for discharging a firearm in a municipal area after he allegedly fired shots during a funeral procession. Police seized the suspect’s firearm, which will be subjected to ballistic testing to establish possible links to previous crimes.
At the same time, a member of the bereaved family was also arrested after police established that the number of mourners in attendance at the same funeral exceeded 50 people, in direct contravention of lockdown regulations.
“This arrest came after numerous attempts by police to sensitise and caution the bereaved family to guard against contravening the regulations during the week, and on the day of the funeral, were ignored,” said police.
Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela issued a strong warning to bereaved families to work with the police towards adhering to the lockdown regulations.
“Ideally, resources deployed by security forces to enforce lockdown regulations at funerals should be used optimally in the prevention and combating of serious crimes,” Mawela said, reiterating the call for greater personal care and responsibility as the province deals with escalating Covid-19 infections.
Two suspects were arrested in Brackendowns for selling liquor in contravention of the regulations, and police confiscated a large consignment of alcohol from the premises.
More than 150 suspects were arrested in Ekurhuleni, some for contravention of the disaster management act and others for crimes that included possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of drugs, dealing in dagga, possession of a police uniform and assault.
On the West Rand, operations conducted in collaboration with the military, metro police and other law enforcement agencies resulted in the arrest of 110 suspects.
The operations focused on stop and searches, vehicle check points, rural safety and enforcement of lockdown regulations, said police.
Suspects were arrested for serious and violent crimes, sexual offences and charges related to domestic violence. Some suspects were caught and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol, possession of and dealing in dagga, and contravention of lockdown regulations.
In Tshwane, more than 200 suspects aged between 21 and 65 were arrested during weekend operations. The suspects were arrested for similar offences, including possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, public drinking and possession of illicit cigarettes.
In Sedibeng, 78 suspects were apprehended for varying crimes and contraventions.
Police in the Johannesburg district arrested more than 80 suspects during operations conducted in Hillbrow, Yeoville, and Johannesburg west.
Suspects were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, armed robbery, possession of stolen property, possession of drugs, possession of unlicensed firearms, fraud, attempted murder, contravention of the disaster management act, possession of drugs, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, attempted business robbery and assault.
All arrested suspects are expected to appear in respective magistrate’s courts across Gauteng in due course.
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)