By NQOBANI NDLOVU
POLICE in Matabeleland South province have extended the three-month ban on the carrying of machetes imposed in the province following a wave of crime linked to machete terror gangs that has hit the country.
The law enforcers first imposed a three-month ban on the carrying of machetes among other traditional weapons in November last year
It was extended on Monday by three more months to April in terms of section 14(4) of the Public Order and Security Act Chapter (11:17).
Failure to comply with the ban attracts a fine or six-month jail term, or both.
This comes at a time when machete gangs have been on the loose, committing various crimes.
Recently, there was a report of daring machete gangs who invaded a police base in Gokwe to force the release of their colleagues who had been arrested for stealing gold.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said the province was not taking chances in its fight against crime.
“We have been experiencing cases of armed robbery, assaults and murder, whereby dangerous weapons are used in committing the crimes. For example, in the past three days, we have recorded at least three cases of armed robbery,” Ndebele told Southern Eye early this week.
On Sunday, a gang of four men, armed with a hammer, logs and a gun, attacked a Gwanda family and got away with more than
ZAR50 000 the family had received as bride price the previous
Added Ndebele: “The other contributing factor (to these crimes) is that people are keeping large sums of money at home, becoming easy targets for criminals. That is the challenge we are facing.”
In an earlier statement, Ndebele said: “During the ban, we will intensify patrols and conduct stop and search operations. Anyone found in possession of any of these weapons will be prosecuted and the weapons confiscated.”