Pretoria – The rain poured down across Pretoria, so did the police, who also stormed parts of Sunnyside as the City of Tshwane and various stakeholders launched a fresh onslaught on drug dealing.
Clad in raincoats, with firearms, handcuffs and buckets of determination, members of the Tshwane metro police and the SAPS raided the notorious area.
Non-compliant liquor traders as well as other businesses were left scrambling for answers when the authorities pounced on them.
In addition to not having the required documents to sell goods, one store was found to have also contravened health and fire regulations.
Crèches were also in the mix; police raided them for illegal wiring and any unusual behaviour in and around the premises.
During the bust, police frisked people on the streets of Celliers, Hamilton, Park and Meintje and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Undocumented foreigners were also targeted as police went door to door checking their papers.
“The fate of the arrested immigrants now depends on whether they can prove themselves to have been in the country legally,” said an undercover police officer.
“Immigration officers are going to process those who were arrested, and will ascertain who exactly is illegal or not, and from there they will be taken to a repatriation centre.”
The legality of Thursday’s raid was questioned by some foreigners.
The police said it was not unusual for South African security forces to target foreigners.
Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said they wanted to create a safer city for all Tshwane residents.
“We will continuously conduct such operations. Those who don’t comply, we are warning them they will be dealt with, such operations are not only being conducted in the CBD, we are conducting them in the city as a whole.”
But some foreigners welcomed the raid.
Abdirizak Muhammad said it was an opportunity to prove that foreigners followed South African laws.
“The police must come here and see how people are abiding by the law,” he said.