Determined to take it hard on crimes across the country, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula plans to launch the Wanya, Wafa Tsotsi’ campaign that will smoke out criminals from their hiding places.
The police minister, who was answering questions at his media briefing in Pretoria, asked members of the South African Police Service to toughen their stance against criminals in the country.
He said the ‘Wanya Tsotsi’ campaign will chase the most dangerous criminals in the country away and will help in hunting them down till they are found and properly prosecuted.
All criminals who are on the run must be found and be locked up by the South African Police Service, we will be launching the ‘Wanya, Wafa Tsotsi’ campaign throughout the country, Mbulala said.
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We will meet fire with fire. Within the prescripts of the law, we will shoot to defend the innocent. We will shoot to defend ourselves, the force and members of the SAPS must ensure that law and order are maintained in this country. Criminals will not reign he said, adding that in South Africa, it now seems as if “everybody has an AK47”.
“When they come with AK47, we must hit them with what is equal to them. They don’t come to rob a bank with a revolver. They come heavily armed, with automatic machine guns. There are lots of AK47s here in this country, I don’t know where they come from. Whether they were left by us [anti-apartheid fighters] I don’t know. Everybody has an AK47, ammunition and all of that. They must know, we will respond to them equally,” said Mbalula emphatically.
“The TRT [the SAPS’s elite Tactical Response Unit] will remain and execute its job. They must be positioned to respond to dangerous criminals. I’m not saying use force recklessly. I’m against that. I’m against rogues, the use of force recklessly and the use of force against unarmed civilians.”
The Minister also emphasized that officers of the law should be able to go all out to defend themselves and the innocent and therefore should not be overweight on the job. “You can’t be a policeman and have a big tummy,” he said
Meanwhile, Minister Mbalula mentioned that members of the Zimbabwe National Army, fleeing from the military service in their country are engaging in violent crimes in South Africa.
He said Zimbabwean soldiers who flew into South Africa joined other criminals to rob banks and promote other serious crimes. They are running away from uncle Bob (Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe) there,” Mbalula told journalists at a media briefing in Pretoria.
“In Zimbabwe, once you are a soldier, you are a soldier for life. You can’t get out of it. So to get out of the military, they run to South Africa, then they come here and rob banks. They are on the payroll of criminals, and we can’t trace them. If a South African steals, it’s easy to trace them because I will find you somewhere in the forensics because I have your fingerprints. I’ve got you all covered, South Africans,” he said
The Zimbabwean ambassador in South Africa, Isaac Moyo reacted to this saying the Zimbabwean government will not accept any ill-informed elements in the SA Police Minister’s comments.
“We deeply regret that they were made without due regard to their accuracy,” he said, pointing out that Zimbabwean government does not condone criminality by any of its citizens and the law must take its course wherever this is the case.