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Operation Fiela: 1,139 arrested in weekend raids

Authorities say over 1,000 people were arrested over the weekend as part of the anti-crime operation.

FILE: Operation Fiela at Madala hostel in Alexandra just before midnight on 22 April 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police said they've arrested over 1,000 suspects over the past weekend during Operation Fiela actions in the province.

Approximately, 1,139 suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from dealing and possession of drugs and firearms, to public violence and murder.

Police have also closed eight illegal shebeens and confiscated 353 illegal DVDs and drugs, including cocaine and cat.

The police's Lungelo Dlamini said, "1,139 people were arrested during the crime prevention operation in Gauteng over the weekend, some have appeared in court. Those that were arrested for minor offences were fined and some were summoned to court."

WATCH: Police & army execute raids in Alexandra

OPERATION FIELA

In April, following a spate of attacks on foreign nationals, Zuma authorised the assignment of about 338 soldiers to Operation Fiela.

These soldiers are still assisting in operations in some parts of the country despite their placement lapsing last month.

WATCH: _Police & military raid Jeppestown Hostel _

The Democratic Alliance on Monday said the unexplained deployment of South African National Defence Force soldiers to crime operations could set a wrong precedent.

The official opposition party said it's written to Zuma, demanding answers, but has yet to receive a response.

WATCH: Cape Town police & soldiers raid Bellville

On Friday, photographs apparently showing the SANDF members assisting police during a crime blitz in Cape Town raised questions about who authorised troops' involvement.

But government officials have been unclear about whether or not the president extended troops' deployment.

If Zuma gave the green light he has to inform Parliament.