Police task team launched in Free State to tackle gangsterism, illegal mining

South African Police Service officers. FILE PHOTO: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

South African Police Service officers. FILE PHOTO: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

The 12-member task team was unveiled at a ministerial imbizo in Welkom, where residents had raised their concerns.

Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday welcomed the introduction of a task team to tackle gangsterism and illegal mining in the Free State.

The 12-member task team was unveiled at a ministerial imbizo in Welkom, where residents had raised their concerns.

These included their frustrations about crime, illegal mining in the area, corrupt police members and police vehicles not being available to respond to criminal incidents.

Cele instructed provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General David Sempe to look into the claims about police not adequately serving the community.

“The task-team that has been assembled will go a long way in dealing with the complaints of the community,” said Cele.

“The national police management has taken a decision that Operational Response Services units such as operational task teams targeting specific crimes will be rolled out nationally.”

Cele announced in June that the Anti-Gang Unit had been elevated to a national level because “gangsterism is spreading across” the country.

News24 reported that gangsterism had been recorded in high numbers in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Free State and parts of Limpopo.

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