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‘Missing’ police firearms at Norwood SAPS the tip of the iceberg

An audit by the Hawks at Norwood police station this week, revealed that at least 158 firearms were stolen from the evidence storeroom in 2021.

The investigation stems from a shooting which took place last year between the South African Police Services (SAPS) and armed robbers. It was later discovered, that one of the stolen firearms was used in the shooting that led to the killing of a police officer.

“This is not the first time Norwood Police Station is involved in stolen firearms, says Ian Cameron, Action Society Spokesperson. In 2014, 112 assault rifles, handguns, commercial explosives and detonators were seized from a house belonging to an elderly Ukrainian couple in Norwood. It was discovered that the seized firearms were removed from the station’s evidence storeroom. These firearms were handed in to be destroyed by civilians who sought amnesty. This is a clear indication that this illegal practise within the station is still at work.”

Additionally, Colonel Chris Lodewyk Prinsloo was sentenced to 18 years in jail for selling over R9 million worth of firearms and ammunition to Gauteng right wing extremists and Cape Flat gang lords.

“The actions of these SAPS officials and the lack of accounting for all firearms is the cause of many citizens who lay victim to crime and gangster activity,” says Cameron.

In March 2021, it was discovered that SAPS’ internal gun ownership permit system had been turned off. SAPS stopped paying the service provider, which led to the Firearm Permit System (FPS) being switched off.

“There is no electronic system in place to track stolen SAPS firearms. This issue has been lingering for the past nine months and due to the rise of criminal activity in relation to stolen firearms, a deeper investigation is required into administration of SAPS firearms,” concludes Cameron.

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