Police Line
Representative Image ValynPi14/Pixabay

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya said the agency's efforts led to the conviction and sentencing of 229 accused persons, out of which 220 were natural persons and nine were juristic persons.

The lieutenant general said the DPCI seized various exhibits such as precious metals and diamonds, endangered species, vehicles, cash, firearms, ammunition, counterfeit goods, explosives and electronic devices worth R102614521.89.

Lebeya said the top five offenses that led to a high number of arrests are 156 for fraud, including 15 companies; 64 for precious metals and diamonds; 67 for narcotics; 51 for non-ferrous metals and 51 for corruption.

During a media briefing in Pretoria on Monday, Lebeya praised DPCI members for their work in the third quarter of the 2023/24 financial year, noting that "their persistence led to securing the attendance in court of at least 724 suspects, which is made of 705 natural persons and 19 juristic persons," SA News reported.

Lebeya noted that out of the 229 convictions, fraud became one of the major reasons for convictions as 63 were arrested for the same. Whereas, smuggling of precious metals and diamonds was the second highest reason as 45 people were arrested for this crime.

"Over and above arrests and convictions, the Directorate, in collaboration with the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), secured 92 orders with a monetary value of R39 642 652.71," he said.

The lieutenant general also warned the criminals, who attack the police, emphasizing that there will be no mercy for such people as "an attack on police official is an attack on the State."

He stated that the death of one police officer is unacceptable, revealing that 22 police officers have been murdered in the third quarter including 12 off-duty officers and 10 on-duty.

Lebeya said these criminals who attacked police officers have been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and some of them received 38 years imprisonment terms.

Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the South African government has strengthened the security measures to fight against crime by recruiting 20,000 police officers over the last two years in the South African Police Service (SAPS).