Operation High Density, a joint anti-crime plan by the police, traffic cops and Department of Home Affairs officials, netted a number of unroadworthy vehicles in Mpumalanga yesterday.
Motorists and passengers were stopped and searched but the officials were not welcomed by residents of Thulamahashe, Bushbuckridge, and surrounding villages.
They claimed the police were roughing them up. A businessman said the police assaulted him and he was denied the right to open a case against them at the Mhala police station.
"Anyone who experiences problems in our community services should ask to speak to the station commissioner who will not hesitate to resolve the matter," Superintendent Abie Khoabane told Sowetan yesterday.
He said the anti-crime operation was necessary before Christmas.
"We are showing our visibility on most roads, in villages and in other places with a potential for crime.
"We are making preparations for the festive season," Khoabane said.