Meeting held over rural safety

The police's Capt Shiviti, Capt Seabi, Maj Genl Scheepers and Brig Enslin.

HAENERTSBURG – This was followed by a rural safety meeting at the Village Hall on Thursday evening. Speakers at the meeting were Cluster Commander Brig Enslin, stationed at Mankweng, Deputy Provincial Commissioner Maj Genl Scheepers (Policing), Station Commander of Haenertsburg Captain Shitivi and Community Policing Forum Chairperson, James Turner.

James’s one eye was covered. As a result of the numerous blows to his head, when he was attacked at his village home last month, he was operated on for a detached retina. Haenertsburg is now regarded by the police as a hot spot.

“We’re living in challenging times. The police alone cannot protect the community. The criminal elements are out there and no one is safe. Crime is increasing in Limpopo,” Scheepers commented.

On Tuesday, 115 vehicles were searched. One stolen vehicle was recovered. Ten illegal immigrants were identified and dagga was seized.

There is no border at Musina as the Levubu River is dry and illegals walk through the riverbed into South Africa. More than 100 vehicles were recovered in the area. The fine for harbouring illegal immigrants is R50 000 and illegals are arrested and deported.

The SAPS say there are always early warning signs before a crime is committed. A red coke tin signifies danger, a green Amstel can indicates go, stones being stacked, that weren’t there before, are regarded as a warning sign. Criminals are clever, intelligent and trained. When arrests are possible, criminals move elsewhere. However, strategies only work for a short time. These have to be changed constantly.

During question time a community member stated that contractors, who do felling in George’s Valley and the Haenertsburg area, are employing illegals.

Anyone transporting timber legitimately must be able to produce a receipt or delivery note when stopped by the police.

This is currently not being addressed. Gum poles are cut between eight and 10 years. The thieves, however, are cutting the gum poles at two years. This results in massive growth losses for the farmers. Ninety percent of the fruit sold on the R71 outside Tzaneen is stolen from farmers. One avocado farmer reported a R150 000 avocado loss in one month recently. Partnership policing is no longer working and the shift has to move towards friendship policing.

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Sue Ettmayr

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