Police want billboard of baddies

2011-09-25 22:35

Mbombela - The South African Police Service is planning to publish the names and faces of 247 000 most wanted criminals on billboards along highways.

Police commissioner General Bheki Cele told journalists at the launch of the Police Music and Cultural Association National Unity Festival in Mpumalanga that the billboards would lead to speedy arrests.

“With their names and faces displayed on the billboards, their wives, girlfriends, relatives and even community members will be able to identify them and there will be no place for them to hide,” he said at the launch in KaNyamazane outside Mbombela.

He said the billboard project was already underway.

“We will ensure these billboards are found on every freeway or street corner in the country.

“We want the criminals to have nowhere to hide as everybody will know who they are,” he said.

Cele said the new elite police unit, the Tracking Team, whose members are drawn from the Special Task Force and Crime Intelligence, was searching for 55 ATM bombing suspects.

Five suspects have already been arrested in connection with robbing a casino of R2m.

Cele said the Tracking Team was more specialised than other police. He said members were super fit and trained by the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The unit would be deployed to all nine provinces before the festive season.

  • Thandiwe83 - 2011-09-25 22:47

    Good idea.

      Boetjan - 2011-09-25 23:21

      i cant help but laugh at this! Other countries have top 10 most wanted criminals.. Here, in africa, 247 000 most wanted! Either the police cant catch 99.99% of criminals or we have at least 40 million baddies. Why not just say, "we cant do our job properly, will you please do it for us?". I can understand a top 100 most wanted list but 247000? we must all know someone who's a "most wanted" criminal then...

      Thandiwe83 - 2011-09-25 23:38

      If the technique results in even just 50 extra criminals being caught then I support it! - 2011-09-26 05:12

      Has anyone told the general that he is going to be the "star of the show".

      Moonshine - 2011-09-26 06:53

      Please give me the contract to erect the billboards!! We can talk about your share of the profit.

      BOFFINBOB_RETURNS - 2011-09-26 08:46

      Billboards on Highways. This means billboards every metre or so. Will have to drop the speed limit down to 20kph so that we motorists will be able to get a good look ! Wonder what will happen in election year ?

      The lost Emperor - 2011-09-26 10:26

      Imagine the confusion when ANC election billboards start going up 'round election time...

      Expat - 2011-09-26 10:29

      Wow that will sure be a LOT of billboards!! One every few centimeters. cars will need to come to a complete stop just so people can read them

      York Hunt - 2011-09-26 16:01

      I hope the billboards read: "DEAD OR ALIVE" ...with a reward of course!

  • BigMoose - 2011-09-25 22:47

    What a brainwave! Brilliant! Who would've thought of it? Bravo. Give the man a Bells.

      minimac - 2011-09-26 05:35

      he is a government official, he doesnt drink bells, only Jonny Blue.

      Yoni - 2011-09-26 07:35

      Give that man a tender!

  • Yoni - 2011-09-25 22:48

    Wonder who's going to get the tender for this? I smell a rat...

      johnwilliam.roberts - 2011-09-26 07:35

      cele is going to award it to shaik and malema construction pty corrupt limited

  • NZdreamer - 2011-09-25 23:02

    LOL! Oh this will help.....highway billboards of fame...oops..sorry shame! And, just how much will this cost the government, yep, this will come out of your pockets, the poor tax paying working man. And there is how many of them......247 000, what??? Are you serious?? I honestly do not think there is enough space for all these pigs to be displayed... And....what a wonderful thing for all the tourists to see on arriving in SA.....247 000 most wanted.... think they will enjoy their holiday relaxing......I don't think so.

      dave_23 - 2011-09-25 23:19

      What will attract tourists though, is actual reductions in our crime rate. Pretending there is no problem and sweeping it under the carpet, helps neither tourism nor the crime rate.

      NZdreamer - 2011-09-25 23:25

      Should this happen.....just watch the sale of balaclavas go up suddenly. Where there's a way, there's a will...NOTHING will deter them!

      RACINGCAT - 2011-09-26 06:17

      And China gets to make the balaclavas

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-25 23:18

    mmm,half of the government is already on the billboards promoting themselves,...just a thought

  • Jaydee64 - 2011-09-25 23:21

    Good idea..But what will the tourists think?

      T-1000 - 2011-09-26 02:09

      What tourists?

  • evanknowles - 2011-09-25 23:33

    "Cele said the new elite police unit, the A-Team, whose members are drawn from the Special Task Force and Crime Intelligence, was searching for 55 ATM bombing suspects."

  • Steward - 2011-09-25 23:54

    Im expecting to see Zuma and Ju Ju up there as well :)

  • HowardX - 2011-09-26 00:07

    How many billboards will it take to put a quarter of a million wanted criminals on display? Seriously? Have they even thought this through? The fact that we have 250000 most wanted criminals suggests we're going to need far more than some billboards to save us from anarchy.

      grant9 - 2011-09-26 06:03

      Very well said.

      RACINGCAT - 2011-09-26 06:19

      Just one billboard ..divide it into 250 000 little squares..But offer a cash reward to go with this and then see the results...

      loveratskzn - 2011-09-26 07:24

      Obviously the top 20 out of the 2500000 will be displayed . Once they get caught the next twenty will be displayed ,At the end of the day its a great idea. Racing cats idea of offering a reward is excellent. This reward amount should refelct under the thug shot of the criminal.With over half of the country struggling to make ends meet it is just a matter of time.

  • leonard - 2011-09-26 00:16

    Something wrong here.If the commissioner is being suspended how can he still be giving directives on anything to do with police work.Or is his supposed suspension a red herring to buy time for Zuma to cover something else ?You never know with this lot,do you.As to the 247000 most wanted list,I shudder to think what the overseas news journos must be writing about SA.How embarrassing for us all.

  • funkyhoender - 2011-09-26 00:52

    1 billboard of each criminal in all provinces = 2,223,000 billboards, that's a lot of billboards man.

      Ke maketse - 2011-09-26 15:50

      @ funkyhoender. Why would you put a criminal operating in the W.Cape up on a billboard in Phalaborwa?

  • spd123 - 2011-09-26 02:05

    247,000 wanted criminals!!!!No wonder the country is so F@£$%D!!

      NZdreamer - 2011-09-26 04:30

      LOL! spd123 - that is more than the population of our Town here in NZ. I am sure the media maybe made a error in numbers?? This honestly cannot be right!! I am thinking 24 000. After giving this some thought, this is incorrect...I hope!

      opiniononly - 2011-09-26 07:55

      no no SPD123 247000 MOST wanted, that means murder, rape etc, the other "minor" crimes where nobody got mutilated or hurt don't count. Sappi and Mondi wouldn't have enough paper to supply billboards for all those milions.

  • T-1000 - 2011-09-26 02:10

    How about just running the country right so there are enough jobs and no need for crime?

  • boby.mafi - 2011-09-26 02:42

    Something very good from the soon to be 'former' police chief.

  • Bill Xhosa - 2011-09-26 04:51

    Good idea but if why do I feel this will be yet another African failure. Could it be because I think it is just another backdoor tender project or because the saps site hasn't been updated in about three years so the information on billboards will be just as useless.

      THX1148 - 2011-09-26 09:40

      Yup, how often are these billboards going to be updated? Websites are cheap and easy to keep up to date, but if SAPS can't keep their own website updated, how will the billboards fare?

  • slg - 2011-09-26 05:04

    Is that a typo or is it really 247,000?!

  • Great White - 2011-09-26 05:24

    Over 200,000 baddies. We have much to be proud of.

      CraigColinRoyMcLeod - 2011-09-26 09:35

      That's an entire army really.

      Ke maketse - 2011-09-26 15:55

      Remember all baddies from everywhere have moved here as well and are protected by our 'progressive' constitution.

  • T-1000 - 2011-09-26 05:55

    So there are 247 000 white people left in SA?

      Buffalo - 2011-09-26 06:53

      What does the `T' stand for? Thickhead? Tosser? Towel-head? Toon? Thoughtless? Twat? Twit? Twot? Two-cell? Teeny?

      Jon JJ - 2011-09-26 07:17

      Yip, to pay tax on behalf of 45 million useless hangabout parasites.

      T-1000 - 2011-09-26 08:00

      @Buffalo. Why dont you just Google it moron?

      Buffalo - 2011-09-26 08:43


  • werner.smidt - 2011-09-26 06:08

    When it has to be the top 247k, you know we're in serious kak.

  • Rusty - 2011-09-26 06:08

    This will probably work. But the way I see it is that the cops are so useless when it comes to tracking down and arresting criminals that the public now have to do most of the work for them. Now thay can sit back and do even less work and we are supposed to tell them where the "baddies" are. Hmmmm....

      RACINGCAT - 2011-09-26 06:15

      The public already collects the tax for the country and does most of the work for government officials already....So identifying a few criminals wont be a problem.......It will help

  • izakfive - 2011-09-26 06:24

    Welcome to the Wild Wild West. They should also show the reward for each one. That will create some form of income for the unemployed. I mean what is easier than to sit outside your house or on the street and just check out the people passing by.

      Ke maketse - 2011-09-26 15:56


  • IsThatAFact - 2011-09-26 06:28

    Rather put the pictures up on TV as part of the adverts like 5+ photos at a time so they can be seen on all the stolen and unlicensed TV's.

      PB - 2011-09-26 08:06

      Brilliant idea - it could be called "Catch your Mate". This would be much more successful than the billboards. Maybe displaying the faces on taxis would reach a much larger audience than the billboards.

  • Bluffbandit - 2011-09-26 06:30

    Obviously the tenders for the sign boards is another way to make money

  • Ula Gillion - 2011-09-26 06:41

    I think this is great and I wish the police much success. They can run but they can't hide!

      Buffalo - 2011-09-26 07:02

      Think it through Ula! The suggestion is just so preposterous that it is not even laughable. 247 000? Is that hat-wearing fool for real? 247 000? The printing of the boards; the construction of the stands; the disruptions to traffic; the accidents as fools show themselves off to friends whilst speeding past traffic police in stolen vehicles. This idiot is detracting from his own criminality and you do-gooders all fell for it. Get a backbone!

      grant9 - 2011-09-26 07:09

      Very well said buff!

  • Buffalo - 2011-09-26 06:44

    One of the problems with this, is that visitors to SA will believe that they have arrived in the middle of elections and are looking at the anc candidates.

  • Moonshine - 2011-09-26 06:59

    Even if you catch them the courts will not be able to handle it. You wil have to build a lot more jails to lock them up. Mission impossible.

  • Moonshine - 2011-09-26 07:00

    Publish the top 100. Then give us a weekly progress report.

  • ricky.erasmus1 - 2011-09-26 07:09

    You really want to decorate our country with these idiots faces all over the country. 1st of all if there was more well trained police men on the force maybe there will be a difference. My question is for every 100 civilians how many policemen are there. Start with the criminals in the force before tackling those criminals on the streets Mr Cele.

  • Jon JJ - 2011-09-26 07:13

    Will the Police Commisioner's face also feature on one of these billboards?

  • Adrian - 2011-09-26 07:15

    And the citizens want - visisble policing (or just any policing). Get out of your offices , get into your communities , whether on foot , bicycle , motor bike , horse anything.But of course , its not about what the tax payer want.

  • Side_Winder - 2011-09-26 07:22

    247 000????? The courts can't handle the work load they presently have, therefore 90% of these guys would walk out free men, as per usual. And IF, and this is a big IF, they managed to prosecuta and sentence these guys, where the HELL they gonna put them. Jails are so friggin' overcrowded they probably be let out on some human rights violation charge.

  • Mark Haupt - 2011-09-26 07:27

    Will his face be on one of them?

  • Dizzle - 2011-09-26 07:33

    Good move but the courts are backlogged as it is. I wonder if they'll cope.

  • Mark Haupt - 2011-09-26 07:34

    I find this interesting. Will these posters be ranked in "badness", will parliamentarians be featured, will there be more than 1 poster per criminal and thus millions of posters? Please give us more details. You have thought this through right and the idea didn't just pop into your head?

  • grant9 - 2011-09-26 07:37

    I don't believe this! Ive read more creditable April fools hoaxes. I've read all the comments and nobody has picked up the obvious : Any person who has his/her name and photo on a bill board will be able to sue and will not be able to be prosecuted. Next : If the police have names and mug-shots, why don't they go out and arrest the suspects? The report speaks of billboards on freeways. Is this allowed? The cost : 247 000 suspects x 9 provinces x say 100 per province x say R1000 each (remember these are supposed to be billboards which will have to be weather proof and have suitable stands). The cost would be in the region of R222 300 000 000. Need I say more?

      Boychild - 2011-09-26 08:25

      Grant get your figures right. Electronic Billboards offer approximately 48 slots (30min) per Board per day at R2,500.00 per slot per month meaning @ R 120,000.00/month (Estimation as this is the expected income of the owner) Each Slot can be used to display between 6 and 24 pictures meaning up to 1152 pictures per month per board. Using 240 billboards per province this would give every criminal a 1.5 minute slot every day of the month at a cost of a mere R105.00 per viewing. Better said the contract cost per month would only be R 1,244,160,000.00 with a minimum contract period of 60 months totalling approximately R 74,649,600,000.00 meaning a total cost per criminal of R 302,225.10 before arrest an trial. HMMMMMMMMMMMM, I smell a serious case of Secret Trust Fund in the offing.

  • burtfred - 2011-09-26 07:41

    The problem is, they all look the same to me.

      Damvak - 2011-09-26 07:46

      It is probably a visual or brain capacity issue on your side. Have it checked out....

  • haroldrvjansen - 2011-09-26 07:49

    I hope they do not inadvertantly swop the billboard with a photo of parliament! PS This is only a joke....

  • anonymouse - 2011-09-26 07:51

    Roughly 0.25 million of SA's roughly 50 million people, or about 0.5% of the population, are "most" wanted criminals..... Also, for a quarter of a million wanted, you'll need one heck of a big billboard.

  • Marc - 2011-09-26 07:58

    Gosh, this is funny. That's a big billboard. But wait a minute. 247 000 of the most wanted criminals? What about the unwanted criminals? The ones earning fat-cat packages as public servants (cadre deployment AKA jobs for the boys) but not including sheltered employment (EE candidates)as they are just victims of inequitable legislation.

  • opiniononly - 2011-09-26 07:59

    When we drove fom Upington through the Freestate and I saw all that space, I thought to myself "You know what , we could build a really MASSIVE jail out here" it seems it was not such a bad idea. Just imagine we coaught all the buggers and put them away. What bliss! Their own people would rest easier at night, they suffer too.

  • Nku - 2011-09-26 08:28

    This is a good idea but 247000 criminals is worrying>>

  • Burnicus - 2011-09-26 08:32

    So 1 out of every 200 citizens is a most wanted criminal? What about the less wanted criminals? I think the police should arrest everyone and then let you go if you are not on the list. This is a scary statistic. It means that at your average soccer match, there are 100 most wanted criminals..

  • Sean Presher-Hughes - 2011-09-26 08:33

    The best idea ever! Just wonde how large te billboard will have to be? It would be a good aide to categorize the shame lists like,' rapists,' child molesters, murderers, ATM bombers and hi-jackers! All most importantly known rhino horn poachers!!! How soon will these billboards be erected? Hopefully this is not just an empty promise! Also a good idea to indicate by means of a flasher across the posters of the culprits that have been captured, charged and successfully convicted! Hopefully dockets don't "dissappear"! As happens very often. Sean Presher-Hughes - Supporter of this concept!

      Buffalo - 2011-09-26 09:00

      Wake up people! As someone earlier wrote: This is an April's Fool Day joke in the middle of September. This criminal clown is detracting from his own criminality. Stop supporting this!

  • JMan - 2011-09-26 08:33

    So we finally get to see what some of your forumers look like? hehehe... ;)

  • Sean Presher-Hughes - 2011-09-26 08:46

    Also a good idea to post mug-shots of all then corrupt policenen that the taxpayers are paying their salaries for, like those that are found to be involved in many inside jobs like with the ATM bombings etc.

  • AJS - 2011-09-26 08:48

    It really irks me when I hear time and time again the words: 'the police can't do their jobs properly'. Ever wondered what it's like to be a cop? Put in all the effort to catch a criminal and put your life at risk. Only to have him granted bail and released soon after. Then he either doesn't show for the hearing and you have to go look for him again or he is found not guilty because of some concocted story which the judge can't see through. Don't get me started on the pathetic sentencing. Ever heard of an armed robber being given bail when he is already facing another charge of armed robbery. Yes there are some pathetic cops out there, but the good cops are getting sick and tired of getting no back up from the judiciary. Stop singling out the cops, it's the judiciary that is mostly to blame

      Sean Presher-Hughes - 2011-09-26 09:02

      I feel for you by all means don't get me wrong. I started my career and worked as a prison warder for 9 years. I also know that the the prisons are bursting at the seams! I wonder where the criminals, either awaiting trial or sentenced, are going to be housed? Remember that some criminals are habitual criminals because they receive the best medical treatment, often better than most of us can receive!

  • Action - 2011-09-26 08:59

    Billboards are so 20th century. It's all about social media now. Publish those photos and details on the web and integrate it with Facebook & Twitter.

      Boychild - 2011-09-26 09:18

      HHHMMMMMMM No Action..... don't be showing those tendencies here, we cannot afford to reduce the Comrades future Trust Fund Income, how is he going to survive..... just think of the neice fees that can be charged to prevent your picture being shown on these boards...... not bribery, corrective advertising!!!!!!!

  • The Monk - 2011-09-26 09:16

    hee hee hee! 247000 on billboards. We do not have enough freeway for this. There goes the scenery.

      Boychild - 2011-09-26 09:30

      mmmmmhhhhhh, we must introduce some new Toll Roads that can be used for this required advertising........ mmmmmm maybe a new road that goes round and round in the Klein Karoo, then we can approve the Shell Frucking (a big fack to all the locals) whilst we supply them with sales points, and RIP the public in off with tolls on a long road going nowehere showing who is sending everything to Hell in a handbasket with the Governments approval (lack of action)!!!!

  • Bed Rock - 2011-09-26 09:24

    How many police do we have ?

  • Gansie - 2011-09-26 09:33

    To publish almost a quarter of a million photographs will make the size of the hugh telescope which might be erected in the Northern Cape, look like a muggie.