Illegal taverns closed down during crime-busting operation

TMPD officers conduct roadblock operation in Mamelodi.

TMPD officers conduct roadblock operation in Mamelodi.

Published Dec 12, 2023


Many patrons at illegally operating taverns in Mamelodi had to look for alternative drinking holes at the weekend after eight liquor outlets were forced to close for working without trading licences.

This was during a crime-busting operation, called Shanela, in the area by the Gauteng SAPS and Tshwane metro police, who slapped owners of illegal taverns with fines.

MMC for Community Safety, Grandi Theunissen, said more than 70 suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from dealing in drugs, being undocumented foreign nationals, possessing unlicensed firearms, and possessing drugs to drunk driving.

The law-enforcement units conducted road blocks, resulting in at least 23 arrests of those driving under the influence of alcohol.

Led by Gauteng SAPS provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela and Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) chief, Yolanda Faro, the multi-disciplinary team embarked on liquor compliance inspections as part of the operation.

Theunissen said: “During these operations, the TMPD issued some 128 Aarto fines with a monetary value of R96 050. The capabilities of its new alcohol bus not only ensured a total of 23 drunk driving arrests, but also enabled the TMPD to have motorists pay nearly R6 000 in outstanding fines through the payment system on the bus.”

A total of 23 drunk driving arrests were made and nearly R6 000 in outstanding fines paid during Operation Shanela in Mamelodi.

The bus was used by the TMPD as a mobile command centre for checking outstanding traffic fines and testing if drivers are under the influence of alcohol.

Theunissen commended the TMPD, SAPS and all other role players for their efforts to ensure increased and proper law enforcement in the run-up to the festive season.

“I also want to remind residents not to drink and drive. Screening efforts on Friday evening indicated that out of the 160 drivers who were screened, 35 screened positive for alcohol and 11 were found over the legal limit,” he said.

At a roadblock in Mamelodi three illegal firearms, ammunition and seven cellphones were recovered from a hijacked vehicle.

One of the firearms was an SAPS pistol that had been stolen during a burglary.

A Toyota Fortuner stolen in the Garsfontein area was also recovered.

“A driver alighted from a vehicle and ran away when stopped along Solomon Mahlangu Drive. Inside the abandoned vehicle, three firearms and seven cellphones were found,” said the TMPD.

Two suspects, identified as foreign nationals, were found in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition during the operation.

The pair would also face a charge of contravention of the Immigration Act, according to the TMPD.

The operation conducted in the Eersterust area netted 29 tuk-tuks, which were impounded for various violations.

Eight business premises were inspected during the by-law segment of the festive operation carried out in Centurion.

A TMPD drug unit found a man in possession of heroin valued at R27 000 in the Hammanskraal area and arrested him.

Faro vowed to continue to be hands-on in leading operations that are aimed at preventing and combating crime.

Pretoria News