The Provincial Commissioner of the police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has taken decisive action to address the concerns raised by community members regarding crime on the Mabopane Highway. Following a recent blockade on the road by concerned residents, General Mawela mobilized additional police resources and increased visibility in the area.
On October 3, 2023, community members blocked the Mabopane Highway to draw attention to the escalating crime rate in the vicinity. Responding swiftly to the situation, Lieutenant General Mawela ordered a team from the Organised Crime Unit to conduct an operation in the hot spot area on October 4, 2023.
During the operation, one of the police members positioned himself near the road under the pretense of relieving himself, while the rest of the team maintained surveillance. As the officer walked towards the trees, two armed men emerged from a tunnel that runs under the R80, pointing their firearms at the unsuspecting officer. However, the vigilant members on surveillance swiftly reacted and apprehended the suspects.
Upon searching the suspects, the police discovered a backpack containing two jackets and two different hats, suspected to be used as disguises after committing robberies. The firearms were later determined to be toy guns. A preliminary investigation led the police to an address where they found a woman who confirmed purchasing a cellphone from one of the suspects. She also provided information leading to another woman who allegedly bought a cellphone from the same suspect. Consequently, both women were arrested for possession of suspected stolen property.
Lieutenant General Mawela commended the police members for their swift response and assured the public that the police will continue to take decisive action against crime in the province. The suspects are expected to appear in court soon, while the investigation remains ongoing.
In light of these recent events, the public is strongly encouraged to exercise caution when using the Mabopane Highway. It is advised to avoid stopping next to the road and instead drive to the nearest filling stations for breaks and rest. By remaining vigilant and adopting these safety precautions, we can collectively contribute to a safer community.