CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — SOUTH AFRICAN police arrested 11,361 people for crimes ranging from murder to drunken driving during a 10-hour countrywide sweep, a spokesman said Saturday. Close to 40,000 policemen searched cars and homes, recovering drugs, 37.5 pounds of stolen gold, 110 stolen cars and 90 unlicensed firearms, the spokesman said.
``We want to get rid of crime, we want to show the criminals that they won't get away with it. We will be back again and again,'' said Law and Order Minister Adriaan Vlok.
Mr. Vlok said recently that South Africa was experiencing the worst crime wave in its history, with sharp increases in all serious crimes and murder up by almost 30 percent in one year.
He said Friday's operation was the biggest ever mounted in South Africa and was aimed at ordinary crime rather than political offenses.