Cele wants anyone found with criminals to be arrested

Policemen offload alcohol confiscated at illegal shebeens during a walkabout with Bheki Cele in Tembisa.
Policemen offload alcohol confiscated at illegal shebeens during a walkabout with Bheki Cele in Tembisa.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Girlfriends, wives, siblings and elderly people will not be spared, they will be arrested when police pounce on cash-in-transit heist criminals.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said he had instructed police to arrest everyone who is found in a house where there is stolen money.

"When they find money in your house or a criminal they must arrest everybody. Arrest uma, ubaba, girlfriend, umakoti - because no one is going to come with a suitcase full of money and you do not tell us. You are part of it. By the time you (are released) it's fine.

"We will be arresting everybody, especially girlfriends because they demand watches and everything knowing that these guys are not working, but you want a 24 carat," he said.

Cele was speaking at Tembisa police station in the East Rand during the launch of Gauteng province's operation Buya Mthetho which aims to shutdown the criminal underworld.

Cele said cash-in-transit heists that have rocked the country in the past three months have declined by 63%.

He said this followed the arrest of 42 cash-in-transit robbery suspects.

He said among those arrested were four most wanted suspects in connection with
cash-in-transit robbery.

Cele said the main suspect Willington Bibi Cenenda was among those in custody.

"We have been looking for Bibi for two years after he jumped bail for attempted cash-in-transit robbery where a police officer was shot and injured."

Bibi is linked to 23 heists.

Cele said most of the crimes declined in Gauteng as 50% of South African crime happened in the province. Between April 15 and June 1, cash-in-transit robberies in Gauteng declined from 20 to 7 robberies compared with the same period two months prior.

"While I am satisfied with the progress, our fight with these criminals is not yet over," Cele said.

He said during that period 59 firearms, including rifles and handguns, 54 vehicles, 47 explosive devices and 152 rounds of ammunition as well as millions of rands were seized.

"It is evident that we are stabilising the scourge of cash-in-transit robberies and we will continue until we win the war against criminals," he said.

Cele said police were currently investigating 10 cash-in-transit robberies and six attempted robberies. He also said police were prioritising the crimes against women and children.

"We want to create a situation where a young woman can walk wherever she wants without fear of being attacked."

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