Mbalula un­leashes big guns on air­port crime

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

PO­LICE Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula be­lieves most crimes at OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port are in­side jobs and has vowed to bring changes to se­cu­rity per­son­nel there.

This comes in the wake of three sus­pects, in­clud­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer, who ap­peared in the Kemp­ton Park Mag­is­trate’s Court on Fri­day in con­nec­tion with their al­leged in­volve­ment in a R20.7 mil­lion heist at the air­port in March.

The trio – France Manaka‚ Si­mon Tl­hok­wane and Philokuhle Ntanzi‚ have been charged with rob­bery with ag­gra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances.

“Those po­lice of­fi­cers who are cor­rupt and who have been do­ing their things in a clan­des­tine man­ner, we will find them in the plan we will be rolling out as of next week,” he said.

Mbalula was speak­ing af­ter his meet­ing with State Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter David Mahlobo at the air­port yes­ter­day to as­sess the se­cu­rity there.

He said many of the crimes com­mit­ted at the air­port were in­side jobs, while adding that po­lice and some se­cu­rity of­fi­cials ac­cepted bribes.

Mbalula said the ini­tia­tive was aimed at ex­pos­ing cor­rupt of­fi­cials de­ployed at the air­port.

He ex­plained that they would be reshuf­fling of­fi­cers and se­cu­rity guards at the air­port af­ter re­al­is­ing there were loop­holes in its se­cu­rity sys­tem.

“That’s why we ro­tate peo­ple here, be­cause some of the peo­ple have been here for 10 years and they don’t want to leave.

“Clearly there are ben­e­fits to be­ing based at the air­port. But they too have to be checked… not just the po­lice of­fi­cers but ev­ery­one (work­ing) here,” he said.

“We have noted all the gaps in terms of what is hap­pen­ing at the air­port‚ which is mainly is­sues of cor­rup­tion and col­lu­sion.”

The min­is­ter added that lead­er­ship would play an im­por­tant role to help curb crime at the air­port.

“All our po­lice en­ti­ties are go­ing to con­duct a joint op­er­a­tion with re­gard to what needs to be done.

“I can as­sure you that crim­i­nals are not go­ing to be on hol­i­day. We are go­ing to make it very un­pleas­ant, and not only that‚ but we are go­ing to clean out this place to zero (crime)‚” said Mbalula.

“The crim­i­nals who come here are heav­ily armed and dan­ger­ous, so we can’t re­spond to them with broom­sticks.

“We have re­alised that most of the time they man­age to es­cape when the re­ports come in. That’s why we are go­ing to un­leash our Tac­ti­cal Re­sponse Team. We will give them what they want.”

ENOUGH: Fik­ile Mbalula

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