27 people arrested for various crimes in Soweto - Mawela

The Lapland Landfill is an informal settlement just outside the Pickitup dumping site, where a group of people known as 'Basotho' work as recyclers.

Five people have been arrested in Lapland for not having documentation. Police are were there after the discovery of five bodies on 19 January 2022 along the Golden Highway. It's understood the people who were killed were copper thieves who also work in Lapland. Picture: Kgomotso Modise /Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela said 27 people had been arrested for various crimes in the operation O Kae Molao in Soweto.

Mawela and a cohort of police visited the Lapland dumping site near Freedom Park, where 5 bodies were discovered on Wednesday.

The Lapland Landfill is an informal settlement just outside the Pickitup dumping site, where a group of people known as 'Basotho' work as recyclers.

But recently, many violent crimes were reported in this area including murders and the dumping of bodies.

The commissioner started the operation in an informal settlement called Maseru between Pimville and Orlando.

It’s understood many of the recyclers who work in Lapland live there and in another settlement near the Nancefield Hostel.

Mawela said arrests were made in these areas.

"We found two positively identified stolen vehicles and seven stolen engines of vehicles. The people were arrested and in that particular area it's a chop shop."

While the arrests have not been linked to the recent murders, Mawela said they had gathered useful information on these crimes.