Gauteng police this weekend shut down over 20 illegal liquor outlets, police disclosed on Monday.

The arrests followed a police operation led by Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko, supported by provincial and local police, in Atteridgeville, Johannesburg CBD, Ekurhuleni and the West Rand.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said “A combined total of 20 illegal liquor outlets were shut down across the province over the weekend”.

He said over 1100 people were arrested. “276 of these arrests were effected in the West Rand for serious and violent crimes and other offences.

“During operations in the Johannesburg District, 200 arrests were secured for various crimes, including possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of ammunition, possession of a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, sexual assault and rape. Fifty-six more suspects were arrested in Soweto West.

He further said in Ekurhuleni District, police arrested 282 suspects while over 76 were arrested in Sedibeng for various serious and violent crimes that include robbery, car hijacking, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and rape.

Those arrested are expected to appear in various courts on Monday.

Meanwhile, on Sunday night, Johannesburg police arrested six suspects linked to attempted murder.

Police said the six, aged between 22 to 38, were arrested by officers taking part in a SAPS and Johannesburg Metro Police Department joint operation. The arrests were made in the Johannesburg CBD at the Noord and Claim Street intersections.

Captain Xoli Mbele, Johannesburg central police spokesperson said “Police were busy with their routine crime prevention duties when they heard gunshots.

When police arrived, a suspect fired at them and threw his firearm inside a white WV Crafter taxi.

Mbele said “Males inside the taxi assaulted the police and they were also apprehended. A firearm and spent cartridges were recovered”.

The captain said the firearm would be sent for ballistic testing to ascertain if it was used in the commission of serious and violent crimes.

Mbele added that “Investigation is underway and suspects will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate Court soon.”