LEPHALALE — During a Rural Safety Forum meeting on Wednesday 20 March, Brig John Masia, Lephalale Cluster Commander, addressed rural safety operations and said every police station will have its own actions. These actions need to be simultaneous – there will for instance be a roadblock at the Villa Nora side (Lephalale/Marken Road) and at Nelson Mandela and OR Tambo Road and the Thabazimbi/Lephalale road.
“Bulgerivier, Dorset, Visgat and Cumberland SAPS will also be involved so that we can make sure we get these criminals by, among others, conducting stop and searches. Dates will be announced,” he said.
Brig Masia also said the announcement will sometimes be on short notice but it is beyond their control – the whole province will take part in simultaneous operations to address rural safety and crime happening on farms and other holdings.
“I noticed in Lephalale they have a WhatsApp group where farmers and security companies are invited to join in the operations and I thought it’s a good idea. Make sure we defeat these criminals who are the enemy in our areas.
“We are terrorised by people who are coming from as far as Hammanskraal. They are driving and walking and if we have our regular road blocks and checkpoints, we will be able to scare them off,” he said.
Connie Gouws from AfriForum said there are certain standards concerning a road block that all can adhere to without putting pressure on the SAPS.
“It is also important to know how cattle should be branded and the community should be informed about it,”
He said Police are planning a road show which will help, as one of the biggest problems is communal land where cattle are stolen. Farmers have to be educated on how to correctly brand and how to look after their cattle.