Thirty five people arrested in a crime blitz on the Nelson Mandela Bridge.

A crime-fighting blitz on the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Braamfontein this weekend led to the arrest of 35 people found with items including textbooks and student cards, IOL reported.

The joint operation was conducted by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and SA Police Service (SAPS).

Thirty men and five women were among those arrested or questioned by the authorities after they were found loitering.  Some were released as none could be directly linked to any crime but SAPS are still investigating.

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Nelson Mandela Bridge: dozens of commuters walk on the bridge daily.     Photo: Nadia Omar

Among the items retrieved from those taken into custody were 10 knives, two car jammers, a toy gun, marijuana, a stolen passport, R1 140 in cash, numerous text books and about 20 stolen bank and student cards. They were recovered from the sides of the bridge and in hiding spots underneath it.

Wendy Mothata (23), a student at Wits, was recently the victim of a mugging in Braamfontein. “I think they target students because there is this myth that we have money, but we don’t. My bag with my student card and stationery was taken and it’s really affected my schoolwork.”

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SAPS execute crime blitz on Nelson Mandela Bridge.                             Photo: Nadia Omar

JMPD spokesman Wayne Minnaar told IOL, “Students and learners are being targeted because they are young and vulnerable and are forced to use the bridge to get to and from tertiary institutions, transport facilities and accommodation in the CBD. They are soft targets.”

Minaar said similar operations would be ongoing as numerous muggings on the bridge had been reported to the Johannesburg Central police station.

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