15 August 2017 Read: 466
A massive operation in Haenertsburg involving SAPS, seven departments, members of the community and other units was held on Tuesday, 1 August.
This was followed by a rural safety meeting at the Village Hall on Thursday evening. Speakers at the meeting were Cluster Commander Brigadier Enslin stationed at Mankweng, Deputy Provincial Commissioner Major General Scheepers (Policing), Station Commander of Haenertsburg Captain Shiviti and Community Policing Forum Chairperson James Turner.
James’s one eye was covered, as a result of the numerous blows to his head, when he was attacked at his village home last month. He was operated on for a detached retina. Haenertsburg is now regarded by SAPS as a hot spot. Major General Scheepers said, “We’re living in challenging times. SAPS can’t protect the community alone. The criminal elements are out there and no one is safe. Crime is increasing in Limpopo Province.”
On Tuesday 115 vehicles were searched. One stolen vehicle was recovered. Ten illegal immigrants were identified and a quantity of dagga was seized. These illegal immigrants don’t come through the legal routes. There is no border at Musina as the Limpopo River is dry and illegals walk through the riverbed into South Africa. More than 100 vehicles were recovered in the area. The fine for harbouring illegal immigrants is R50, 000.00 and the illegals are arrested and deported.
The SAPS do not have enough resources countrywide. If there is poor service delivery, the community must stand up. Things are going wrong because good people are keeping quiet. The SAPS says that there are always early warning signs before a crime is committed. A red coke tin signifies danger, a green Amstel can indicates go, stones being stacked, that weren’t there before, are regarded as a warning sign. Criminals are clever, intelligent and trained. When arrests are possible, criminals move elsewhere. However, strategies only work for a short time. These have to be changed constantly.
During question time a community member stated that contractors, who do felling in Georges Valley and the Haenertsburg area, are employing illegals. Anyone transporting timber legitimately must be able to produce a receipt or delivery note when stopped by the SAPS. This is currently not being addressed. Gum poles are cut between eight and ten years. The thieves, however, are cutting the gum poles at two years. This results in massive growth losses for the farmers. Ninety percent of the fruit sold on the R71 outside Tzaneen is stolen from farmers. One avocado farmer reported a R150, 000.00 avocado loss in one month recently.
Partnership policing is no longer working and the shift has to move towards friendship policing.