The FF Plus is deeply concerned about the large quantities of ammunition and firearms stolen from the police and metro police in Gauteng and the strong possibility that it may end up in the hands of criminals.
The Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, confirmed in response to a written question by the FF Plus that thousands of rounds of ammunition and 107 firearms belonging to the police and metro police were reported stolen or missing between July 2020 and June 2021.
At present, there are 279 cases under investigation in which police officers’ ammunition and firearms were stolen during armed robberies or have simply gone missing from safes.
In Gauteng alone, 84 police officers are under investigation. The missing firearms include one shotgun, four R5 rifles and 274 pistols. In addition, 1 668 R5 rounds, 575 shotgun rounds and 1 644 9mm rounds have gone missing. Of the police officers, 12 have already been found guilty, one has been suspended from service and 11 have been given final warnings. The rest are still under investigation.
Ten officers of the Ekurhuleni Metro Police have reported their pistols and ammunition as stolen. These incidents are also still under investigation.
Ten officers of the Tshwane Metro Police have reported their 9mm pistols and ammunition as stolen. Eight of these cases are being investigated and the final result in the other two is pending.
Three Gauteng traffic police officers have also reported their pistols and 45 rounds of 9mm ammunition as stolen. Some of these officers’ firearms were stolen during a hijacking.
This clearly points to poor management as well as a lack of control and discipline; decisive action must be taken.
These weapons that have gone missing or have been stolen are precisely the kind of weapons used in committing transit heists and even farm attacks.
By Kobus Hoffman