Mbombela – Mpumalanga provincial authorities have sent a strong warning to drunk drivers and “tsotsis” (criminals) who plan to make use of the provinces roads during the upcoming Easter holiday.
Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe announced that various police units and traffic officers would be deployed across the province from Thursday to Monday to curb lawlessness.
“The MEC has called on communities to play their role in ensuring that they stay out of trouble as police will be deployed all over the province to ensure public safety and security. Drunk driving and criminal activities will not be tolerated at all,” said Shongwe’s spokesman Joseph Mabuza on Wednesday.
In a statement, Shongwe said security would be intensified at all international borders separating the province from Mozambique and Swaziland.
“Foreign nationals, as well as local citizens are advised to steer clear of trouble and focus on enjoying their holidays without spending time behind bars,” said Shongwe.
He said while police visibility had increased at the border posts between Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa, extra units would be deployed to monitor the increased movements during the Easter weekend.
He said the police units, including members of the Flying Squad, would conduct roadblocks and stop-and-search operations at strategic places. The Flying Squad would specifically monitor crime on both national and provincial roads.
“Contact crimes such as murder, attempted murder, assault with grievous bodily harm and common assault that tend to rise due to increased consumption of alcohol, will be dealt with harshly,” warned Shongwe.
In 2010, 105 people were reported to have lost their lives on the country’s roads during the Easter weekend between 1 and 5 April.
In the four days over the 2009 Easter weekend, there were 197 road fatalities in the province. – Sydney Masinga, BuaNews