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Durban police nab 722 suspects in 24 hours

The arrests took place ahead of a visit by Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

Acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane (left) and Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko (centre) visit Durban on 31 December 2016. Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG – More than 700 arrests have been made during a 24-hour period in the Durban area as police carried out festive-season operations.

Police spokesperson Sally de Beer explains that the arrests took place just ahead of the visit on Saturday by Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

“During police operations in the 24-hour period immediately preceding the visit, 722 arrests were made, 438 of which were for serious crimes including murder, attempted murder, rape, armed robbery and assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm,” says De Beer.

Nhleko and Phahlane, together with a large police delegation, visited a mall in KwaMashu and the beach front in Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal: The Minister of Police, the Honourable Mr Nathi Nhleko, accompanied by the Acting National Commissioner...

Posted by South African Police Service on Saturday, 31 December 2016

Police say they found a very festive and peaceful atmosphere and Phahlane commended officials who have been on duty during the festive season.

He also had a word of warning for citizens.

"Don't wake up on 1 January 2017 in a police cell as a result of over-indulgence in alcohol which has led you to becoming involved in the commission of a crime," said Phahlane.

De Beer says officials will continue to be on duty this New Year’s Eve and encouraged people to be responsible during celebrations.