OR Tambo District Commissioner, Major General Cetyana applauded the commitment of his police officers in ensuring that illegal firearms are taken off the hands of criminals who are using these firearms to commit serious and violent crimes.
During weekend operations a total of seven people were arrested for firearm related offences and 6 illegal firearms confiscated.
In an intelligence driven operation held in the Ngqeleni location on Friday, 24 February 2023, Flying Squad members received and followed up on information of a person in possession of an illegal firearm. At about 22:00, police searched a house in Langeni A/A Gxulu area where they found a .45 calibre firearm and one live round of ammunition.
A 35-year-old man was arrested and detained on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
In another incident in Mthatha on Saturday, 25 February 2023 at about 20:00, in a joint collaboration between the Tactical Response Team deployed in OR Tambo district and the DPCI (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) responded to a shooting at a local tavern in the Ntshabeni locality at Link A/A where they found a suspicious vehicle, a white Ford Ranger with four occupants seated inside the vehicle. On searching the occupants and the vehicle, a 9mm pistol was found on one of the male’s while another .38 revolver was found under the driver’s seat.
All four males aged between 32-42 were arrested – one for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and all four were charged for possession of a prohibited firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.
Also in Mthatha, on Saturday, 25 February 2023 at about 16:30, police followed up on information and arrested a 35-year-old security officer and his girlfriend, aged 42 for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. Two firearms, a R5 rifle with 45 rounds and a 9mm pistol were confiscated.
The R5 rifle was found at a house in Nduli Crescent and the 9mm pistol was found at a house in Stofile Street in Ngangelizwe. On Sunday, 26 February 2023, further investigation led police to the security officer’s house in Marikana in Kokstad. At about 13:00, the house was searched and another firearm, a CZ 7.65 pistol and 8 rounds of ammunition was found hidden underneath a mat. The firearm was reported stolen in Kokstad.
All the arrested suspects will appear in their respective magistrates’ courts today, 27 February 2023.
Major Gen Cetyana welcomed the arrests and seizures of the illegal firearms and pointed out that, “Even though our members are continuously confiscating illegal firearms, there is still a concern on the number of firearms that are circulating in the community. However, we will continue in our quest to rid society of these illegal weapons. We thank and appreciate the information given to us by the community and urge them to continue to join hands with the SAPS in making our communities safe.”