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FF Plus in Mpumalanga demands answers regarding alleged disbandment of flying squad unit

The FF Plus asked the provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen. Semakaleng Manamela, to provide clarity on the allegation that the entire White River Flying Squad has been temporarily disbanded.

The members of this elite unit will reportedly be temporarily deployed to nearby police stations.

This decision follows the arrest of three members of the unit who were presumably involved in cash-in-transit heists and ATM bombings in Mpumalanga. Two of the members were apprehended last week and the third, who fled, turned himself in over the weekend.

The FF Plus enquired about the unit’s alleged disbandment from the provincial police spokesperson, Brig. Selvy Mohlala, but had not yet received a reply at the time of writing this.

If it does seem to be the case, it is an extremely alarming situation which points to how deep-rooted serious criminality is in the police service. The absence of this unit will also have serious repercussions for law enforcement in the area, especially when it comes to cash-in-transit heists.

The first two members were apprehended last week after a shoot-out and high-speed car chase with colleagues. A number of illegal firearms were reportedly found in the flying squad vehicle with which they sped off.

According to media reports, eight rifles, two pistols and explosives were discovered in the vehicle. The arrests were made just a few days after R8 000 was stolen during a cash-in-transit robbery outside Malalane.

Although the FF Plus welcomes the arrest, it is alarming not to have any flying squad units patrolling the infamous cash-in-transit robbery routes between White River and Hazyview.

The police should take immediate action to implement a temporary contingency plan on these routes.

Police corruption should not be tolerated any longer. Two weeks ago, a traffic police officer of the Mbombela Local Municipality was also arrested for her alleged involvement in cash-in-transit heists.

It is unacceptable for police members to become embroiled in crime, and the FF Plus wants to see the most severe penalties imposed on the perpetrators.

The ANC government has cultivated a culture of corruption accompanied by impunity, which has become entrenched in society.

The political will and commitment to eradicate corruption should exist at the highest level of government. Only a change in government in 2024 will achieve that.

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