“The extortion looked like it was an elite crime problem as mainly nightclubs and bars were being targeted, but actually the extortionists were also going to townships like Khayelitsha to get percentages of rentals from the poorest of the poor,” said Cele.
“During lockdown the nightclubs were shut down, so the extortionists were going for eateries, restaurants and anyone they could intimate to get money from.
“But I’m very impressed in the way the committee worked together for the better of the province. I believe we will squash out extortionists with our unity.”
Asked if he believed the police were arresting the brains behind the rackets, he said: “We have arrested the foot soldiers but we are getting into the big fish now.”
Cele said cases were now intelligence-driven, which yielded better results.
On Wednesday a parade was held which saw Cele unveil 200 new police members for the province. The group included analysts and specialists who would join the fight against extortionists.