The newly launched operation Tshwara Tsotsi (meaning arrest a criminal) by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula kicked off on Friday in Limpopo and has already led to Limpopo traffic police issuing more than 1,000 traffic fines to motorists over the weekend.
Transport MEC Dickson Masemola and Mbalula decided to introduce Operation Tshwara Tsotsi following the deaths of 45 people that resulted in road accidents in province over the June 16 long weekend.
The department said the operation mainly focused on motorists who disobeyed traffic rules, drove under the influence of alcohol or without valid driver’s licences, drove in unroadworthy vehicles and cars with road licences that had expired.
Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said that since the operation started, a total of 1,001 traffic fines were issued and eight shebeens closed while five cars, five computers, 27 knives, 10 firearms, televisions, cell phones and illegal drugs were confiscated.
It was reported that the successful operation was carried out by South African Police Service units including crime intelligence, crime prevention, the detective unit, public order police, the K9 unit, the traffic response unit and tactical response teams.
Ngoepe also added that 866 suspects between 19 and 51 years of age were arrested for various offences and they were going to appear in court soon.
“Most vehicles have worn-out tyres and no brake pads. Some have expired documents. They are like ticking time-bombs waiting to explode,” said Mbalula.
He also despised traffic officers who took bribes from motorists and warned that the law would deal with them.
“We want to tell all those corrupt officers that every dog has its day. We will arrest them and send them to jail,” Mbalula added.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.