The SAPS carried on with the search and seizure operation in Philippi without the presence of the SANDF.
Police Minister Bheki Cele led the front in Philippi East as scores of SAPS operatives huddled outside the police station to await instructions.
This was Cele’s response to cries from the community that has recently been subjected to rampant gun violence.
SAPS ramps up the heat in Philippi East
In a single weekend, the area recorded 11 murders, six of which were women who were targeted in their yard by unknown suspects.
The minister, on Thursday evening, announced that his office has finally heeded the people’s call for the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to neutralise crime in the community, as well as other identified hot spots in the crime-ridden province.
Where is the SANDF?
While it is understood that the military does not function within the ambit of Cele’s ministry, it is believed that this deployment is in cooperation with the national office of the defence force.
Up until the time this article was published, there had been no early sightings of the army. In Philippi East, Cele, together with Deputy Minister of Police, Cassel Mathale, and Commissioner General Khehla Sitole addressed the parade of officers before they were deployed to the township on a search and seizure operation.
The operation commenced without any hiccups in the early hours of Friday morning. As motorists made their way to work, they were stopped and searched. Pedestrians too were subjected to searches.
The focal part of the operation, however, was the targeted residences in the township where it is believed that the most wanted suspects reside.
Police officers cracked down on a few houses, seizing dangerous weapons, drugs, and persons of interest in ongoing cases.
SAPS has yet to report on the outcomes of the operation with detailed figures on the total arrests made and illicit items seized. Many in the community will hope to see the follow-up to this morning’s activities with the army’s parade.