SAPS aims to sweep away crime through Operation Shanela

Media Statement
South African Police Service

Pretoria:  The South African Police Service ( SAPS) led by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele launched its high density operations “OPERATION SHANELA” in Soweto, Gauteng.

Since its’ inception on 08 May 2023, 55 675 suspects were arrested for various crimes ranging from murder, rape and possession of illegal firearms.

Operation Shanela consists of regular stop and searches, roadblocks, vehicle check points, high visibility patrols including foot patrols, the tracing of wanted suspects with a focus of murder and rape suspects, compliance inspections at liquor outlets and second hand good dealers.

The launch was led by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele and the Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale.

During the launch, the first batch of drones’ capabilities were displayed. The drones will be handed over to the SAPS’ operational units to enhance police visibility and the tracking and tracing of wanted suspects.

The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele urged all law enforcement officers to intensify their fight against crime. “Don’t be kind, when criminals go hard on you go harder!  When criminals go toe to toe let’s not be the ones to lose this war, we can’t afford to pick up dead bodies of police officers. Criminals in South Africa think they have extra rights, go out there and prove them wrong”, said General Cele.

The National Commissioner of SAPS, General Fannie Masemola says the success of Operation Shanela rests on the collaboration of all stakeholders. “We believe that not only are we on the right track in reducing the volumes of crime, but we are also making headway in strengthening relationships with our communities.

Therefore, I must acknowledge and accentuate my appreciation for the role played by the SANDF, the National and Provincial Traffic Police (RTMC), Metro Police Departments, Municipal Traffic, the Department of Home Affairs, SARS, Environmental Affairs, Department of Transport, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Community Police Forums, community patrollers and private security”, said General Masemola.

The breakdown of arrests includes the following:

# 6679 wanted suspects
# 7800 assault GBH
# 2033 suspects arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
# 3788 illegal immigrants
# 768 murder
# 795 rape

The number of confiscations and recoveries are as follows:

# 613 handguns
# 72 home-made firearms
# 65 rifles
# 44 shotguns
# 388 vehicles
# 273 426 counterfeit goods
#Contraband which includes goods illegally imported R1,3 million
# Various drugs including mandrax, cocaine and Nyaope have also been seized.

Meanwhile, two more suspects have been arrested for the torching of trucks. Thus far, four suspects have been arrested in Mpumalanga while the fifth suspect was arrested in Limpopo. The search for more suspects continues.


Brigadier Athlenda Mathe
SAPS National Spokesperson
082 040 8809


Contact Vision Tactical