- Police in Gauteng and North West have come under attack during operations to close illegal shebeens.
- One police officer has been injured.
- In another incident, locals attempted to steal the liquor confiscated from an illegal shebeen.
Police came under attack during raids on illegal shebeens over the weekend, prompting national police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole to launch a 72-hour activation plan to bring the attackers to book.
Two incidents took place in Gauteng and North West and one police officer was injured, Sithole said.
On Friday at around 02:00, a police officer stationed at the Garsfontein police station in Pretoria was severely assaulted by residents of the Plastic View informal settlement during an operation to close illegal shebeens. The officer was admitted to a local hospital, where he received multiple stitches to open head wounds.
In Jouberton in North West, Klerksdorp police were conducting routine crime prevention operations, which included the closing of shebeens.
They responded to a tip-off about a house where large quantities of alcohol were being stored and sold.
Police raided the house but the owner fled. While police were loading the liquor into a police vehicle, the community quickly mobilised, stormed the police van and removed some of the liquor from the van. The officers drove off to the police station with about half the liquor remaining in the vehicle. In the midst of the scuffle, a suspect was seen throwing a bottle at the police bakkie, damaging it.
"The acts by these respective communities are unacceptable and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms", Sitole said.
"It is common knowledge that alcohol has been one of the biggest generators of contact crimes, including gender-based violence and femicide, and communities should be rallying together against the illegal sale of such," he added.
Sithole said he has instructed the provincial commissioners to implement a 72-hour activation plan to identify the culprits.
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