Ricochet News

SAPS' Operation Lockdown in PE's Northern Areas bearing fruits: police

MARCH 29, 2016
SAPS' Operation Lockdown in PE's Northern Areas bearing fruits: police

Operation Lockdown, which was launched in Port Elizabeth's troubled Northern Areas on Thursday by the Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko and the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane, is already bearing successes, with several people arrested for various crimes over Easter weekend, according to Eastern Cape police.

Since the launch of the operation, the following successes were achieved  to date (24/03 to 28/03):

No of Arrests

Type of Crime


Possession of / Dealing in Drugs including dagga, tik and mandrax


Possession of hijacked vehicle – stolen in Gelvandale


Civil Aviation Act – pointing a laser at helicopter 


Attempted Murder


Possession of firearm and ammunition


Dealing in liquor without a licence



Type of Exhibits Seized


rolls  of dagga


Dagga plants


Mandrax tablets


Rock cocaine pipes


Tik pipes


Tik packets


Knives and a pair of scissors


Corsa Lite vehicle found abandoned in Gelvandale. Vehicle was stolen in Humewood in March 2016


Nissan bakkie found abandoned in Bethelsdorp. Vehicle was stolen in Bethelsdorp in March 2016


Mazda Midge found in possession of  3 suspects in Gelvandale


Hard Drive


Relay box used to upgrade cameras




9mm magazines


Rounds of ammunition


Toy gun


Stilpane tablets


9mm Norinco pistol


All the arrested persons were expected to appear in the various courts on Tuesday.

"Operation Lockdown is an unique policing intervention aimed at stabilising affected areas and combatting gang-related violence and criminal activity in the precincts of Bethelsdorp and Gelvandale in Port Elizabeth.  This flows from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster's direction, on 21 February 2016, that multi-disciplinary action should be taken to proactively tackle gangsterism in those areas," described police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

"As a department, the South African Police Service planned and implemented a management intervention from the Office of the Acting National Commissioner. The Deputy National Commissioner: National Management Interventions, Lieutenant General Gary Kruser, is personally supervising the process and reporting directly to the Acting National Commissioner. 

"Command and control over Operation Lockdown remains vested at the national office while the Provincial Commissioner and her team are vigorously implementing the plan."

Colonel Naidu said that the additional police members deployed from both the National and Provincial offices have started to pay dividends, as the high police visibility curbed serious crime during the  Easter weekend in the Bethelsdorp and Gelvandale precincts.    

"The Minister of Police, Nhleko, assured the communities that the police presence is part of a broader government strategy, aimed at bringing stability to the area so that the social development environment could also become involved in community matters to improve the lives  of those living, schooling and working there."

At the launch on Thursday, Lt Gen Phahlane said: "We are going to make the lives of the criminal element in those areas uncomfortable. We are doing this, as the SAPS, because we have listened to the community and we want to support them and make their lives safer by taking the gangs' illicit markets away from them".

The Provincial Commissioner of the Eastern Cape, Lt Gen Celiwe Binta, has reiterated that the police deployed in the Northern areas are committed to fighting these heinous crimes and to ensure that the communities in these areas are and feel safe. Lt Gen Binta worked with the intervention teams during the entire long weekend and was directly involved in all the operations on the ground.  She also urged the communities to come forward and report criminals.

Information may be reported anonymously on 08600 10111 or to Colonel Ralane on 082 442 1663