A 39-year-old South African actress is one of over 40 suspects arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol this past weekend during operations conducted across Gauteng Province.
The 40-plus suspects were arrested as the Safer Festive Season Operations gain momentum, Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said on Sunday.
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"Despite warnings from the police that people should refrain from drinking and driving, more people are found behind the steering wheel, driving while under the influence of either alcohol or other substances. Police have increased deployments on the roads and other places regarded as hot spots to ensure that those who continue to undermine the authority of the State are dealt with decisively," Peters said.
Robbery at Honeydew restaurant
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In a separate incident, the police's swift response led to the arrest of five suspects and the recovery of three unlicensed firearms following a robbery at a fast foods restaurant in Honeydew, west of Johannesburg.
"It is alleged that approximately five suspects entered the restaurant in Honeydew on Saturday night and took an undisclosed amount of cash and cellular phones. The suspects were cornered in Roodepoort where a shootout ensued when the suspects allegedly started shooting at the police. Two suspects were shot and injured while the other three were arrested with no injuries. Three firearms believed to have been used by the suspects were recovered on the scene," Peters said.
In addition, over 800 other suspects were arrested in Gauteng over the past weekend for committing various offences.
More suspects arrested
Two-hundred-and-sixty-six suspects were arrested in Ekurhuleni for crimes including murder, rape, possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of drugs, possession of stolen motor vehicle and fraud. In Johannesburg and the West Rand, police arrested another 262 suspects for crimes ranging from rape, possession of stolen property, house robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of drugs as well as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
"Operations in Tshwane saw police apprehend more than 300 suspects, most of whom were arrested during detective raids for wanted suspects. The suspects have been on the run after committing offences that include murder, rape, assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm, possession of unlicensed firearms, business burglary and cases related to gender-based violence," Peters said.
Peters said residents of Gauteng should expect more operations that will include roadblocks, stop-and-searches, raiding of liquor outlets, patrols at the taxi ranks as well as shopping centres as we approach the holidays.
Police have called on the community of Gauteng to report crime by either calling Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or via the new MySAPS App where the public can share anonymous tip-offs or search for the nearest police station.
The arrested suspects will appear before various magistrate's courts within the province from Monday, Peters said.