Pretoria - Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela has spoken toughly against foreign nationals who are in the province illegally, saying they would be dealt with in terms of the law.
Mawela was speaking to journalists at a roadblock conducted at the Carousel Toll Plaza in Hammanskraal as part of a crime-fighting campaign known as “O Kae Molao”, meaning “Where is the law?”
He said police didn’t have problems with foreign nationals coming to Gauteng, “but we want to ensure that those who are coming are allowed to be in the country legally.”
His statement followed last week’s announcement by Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi that more than 700 people were arrested for trying to enter the country illegally during his visit to the Beitbridge border post in Musina.
Mawela also warned against smuggling illegal goods into the province, saying this won’t be tolerated.
“At the same time people who are smuggling illegal goods into Gauteng will be dealt with in this place. You are all aware that we had the problem of the ATM bombings.
“They are mostly using commercial explosives, and our intelligence agency is telling us that most of those explosives used to bomb ATMs in Gauteng are being imported or smuggled into the country,” he said.
Mawela also called on perpetrators of gender-based violence to desist from doing so and to protect women and children. “Domestic violence is a serious problem in Gauteng. We call upon all men and boys to be responsible and love our women and children. We must stop abusing them,” he said.
He said the police embarked on the operation every week in all districts across Gauteng to assist the local police stations in the reduction of crime.
Police stopped hundreds of vehicles during the operation, asked passengers and drivers to step out and conducted searches.
They also assessed the roadworthiness of vehicles and checked whether they complied with the road rules.
“Why specifically (we are conducting the operation) on Friday… We know that there would be a lot of people who went away during the festive season. Some went to their respective homes or where they come, and now they are coming back to Gauteng.
“We felt that we need to have all these roadblocks in all the districts, especially focusing on the national roads leading to Gauteng,” he said.
Mawela urged people going to taverns and shebeens to enjoy themselves responsibly.
“They mustn’t drink and drive.”