Efforts geared at strengthening community-police relations and thwarting the proliferation of illegal firearms, continue to yield positive results as police in Gauteng this time around recovered thirty illegal firearms and two hundred and nine ammunition of different caliber in the space of 48-hours, with some successes emanating from spot-on tip-offs from the community.
In Ekurhuleni District, members on Friday afternoon, 18 September 2020 operationalised information which led to a house in Alberton where a suspect was arrested after police found and seized three pistols with live ammunition. An investigation is underway to determine whether the recovered firearms may have been stolen during a robbery at a security company earlier in the day.
In a separate instance, the prompt reaction by members from Zonkizizwe led to the arrest of a 38-year-old man who was found at his place of residence, in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Meanwhile in the Johannesburg District, a joint intelligence-led operation by members of the SAPS Soweto Rapid Response Team and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department resulted in the arrest of a 33-year old suspect found in possession of an unlicensed pistol with a loaded magazine. Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspect is involved in illegal mining at Crown Mines.
Police in Tshwane have equally been hard at work where in one of their intelligence-driven operations, members investigating the spate of armed robberies around Hebron and Klipgat, intercepted suspicious persons and found on one of them an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. A 29-year-old was arrested for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Meanwhile in a separate operation on Thursday 17 September 2020, two rifles and a pistol were seized from a crime scene in Centurion after police were involved in a shootout with the suspects, where two suspects were fatally wounded and two police members injured.
These firearms, together with many others recovered in different areas in the Province between Wednesday and Friday, bring to total 30 firearms found in a space of 48 hours. All firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to ascertain whether or not they could have been previously used in the commission of crime.
The recovery of firearms and ammunition falls under the category of crimes heavily dependent on police action for detection. Therefore, according to Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, police in Gauteng have been ordered to intensify efforts in dealing decisively with the proliferation of illegal firearms as these often are at the centre of violent crimes including hijackings, house robberies, and murders.
Owners of illegal or unwanted firearms and ammunition are reminded that the firearm amnesty period is still in place until 31 January 2021, and are encouraged to surrender these and hand them in at their nearest police station.
South Africa Today – South Africa News