The Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale launched Operation Shanela at Seshego Stadium, Limpopo on Saturday. Operation Shanela is a multi-disciplinary Strategy that is aimed at combating Crime across the country.

Mathale was joined by MEC for Transport and Community Safety Ms Florence Radzilani, the Deputy Chairperson of the House of Traditional and Khoi-san leadership, Kgoshi Phatudi Mphahlele MT, representative of the Executive Mayor of Polokwane Municipality MMC Shadung, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, Ms Seono, Traditional leaders, the Provincial Commissioner of Police Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe.

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General Thembi Hadebe outlined the purpose of the event which is mainly to officially launch the Limpopo Provincial Operation Shanela. It will also be known as Operation Kukula in the Province.

The General further indicated that the operation has been running for some time and its achievements are overwhelming. Since its inception early on 29th May 2023 until 13th August 2023, Police have arrested 46 suspects for murder, 25 for attempted murder, 37 for rape, 27 for business robbery, and 505 for Assault Common.

Police Deputy Minister Cassel Mathale launch Operation Shanela in Limpopo
Cassel Mathale at Seshego

In addition, 53 handguns and 4 rifles were confiscated, 176 people were arrested for possession of dangerous weapons, 40 vehicles were recovered and 102 610 of tobacco were confiscated. Moreover, the focus on illegal mining has intensified as more illegal mines were shut down and suspects arrested. Most of the illegal miners are illegal immigrants hence, 2718 illegal immigrants were arrested through intensified operations. In conclusion, the Provincial Commissioner highlighted that 214 drug dealers and 244 suspects were arrested for dealing in liquor. Including 450 for possession of drugs as well as 452 Motorists for driving under the influence of liquor.


The Component Head: Proactive Policing, Visible Policing and Operations, Major General S Pienaar, outlined the overview of the operational framework and focus of “Shanela”. She indicated that it is an operation that is led by Provincial Commissioners and Senior Management in all Provinces. It encompasses intelligence-driven high-density operations that focus on the five Pillars approach to dealing with Crime in Society.

Representatives of the Community Policing Forum, the Department of Home Affairs, Labour, LEDET and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development gave messages of support and presentations based on their line of work in terms of the law.

MEC Radzilani commended the Police for their commitment to combating Crime in the Province. She emphasised that the launch of Operation Shanela comes at a time when the Country is waging and battling against crime within the mining industry. Criminals are undermining the Police. This is as they demonstrate their disregard for the entire justice system. The MEC said they will continue to support the Police with whatever type of resources they will need.


In his keynote address, the Deputy Minister called on the Police to continue with the excellent work of cracking down on Crime through Operation Shanela. Mathale announced that they seem to be winning the fight against Crime through the intensified Operation Shanela.

“We have seen the Provincial Commissioners in all the nine Provinces leading the operation together with their management. We need to be innovative and technical when dealing with criminals and we have seen a decline in Crime. Especially murders, and the communities must work closely with the Police in order to win the fight against crime,” concluded Deputy Minister Cassel Mathale.

In attendance were also Labour Unions ( POPCRU and SAPU), Prov-joints members. Community Police Forums, Community in Blue, and other stakeholders such as Home Affairs and LEDET.