Police traced and arrested two suspects on Friday evening after earlier in the day recovering protective gear used by the SAPS Public Order Police at a block of flats in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.
Police found 24 SAPS helmets, 12 SAPS riot shields and drugs, including dagga, abandoned in a store room at the Cape Agulhas building.
“Police earlier in the day conducted an #OKaeMolao operation where a number of buildings in Hillbrow had been flagged as generating high volumes of contact crime.
“Other buildings visited were Kiribili, Eastgate, Florence Nightingale and O’Riley; and police arrested 22 undocumented foreign nationals, two suspects for possession of and dealing in drugs. Two illegal liquor outlets were closed and liquor confiscated. Three more suspects were arrested for business robbery at Joubert,” Gauteng police said in a statement.
Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela has called for an urgent investigation by a team of seasoned investigators at provincial level to establish how protective gear used by the Public Order Police landed in the wrong hands.
“The extent to which criminals have now gone to undermine the authority of the state is very disturbing. No effort will be spared in finding out the source of supply pending confirmation of whether indeed the gear is state-issued or replicas. Whatever the case, we believe the intention to own state property is still criminal,” Mawela said.