A joy ride with the father’s vehicle, which was allegedly taken without the owner’s consent, got two friends behind bars on Saturday 6 May 2023 in Sabie.
The 32-year-old suspect was stopped by police as part of routine stop and search operations when he was reportedly found with a 9 mm Barretta pistol, eight magazines, 123 rounds live ammunition (for a 9 mm pistol) and a revolver with three live rounds.
The suspect could not produce a firearm licence on request hence he was arrested for unlawful possession of firearms. His 36-year-old lady friend was not spared from the arrest as she was also reportedly found in possession of suspected Crystal Meth drugs.
Preliminary investigation indicates that both firearms are licenced and belongs to the male suspect’s father who somehow left them in his car, contravening the Firearm Control Act.
Police cannot rule out possibilities of laying a charge against the owner of the firearms for possible negligence by leaving lethal weapons in a car instead of keeping the items in a safe as per requirement of the alluded Act.
The two are expected to appear at the Sabie Magistrate’s Court on Monday 8 May 2023 facing the said charges.
Meanwhile in a separate incident a 26-year-old victim’s life was saved through a good Samaritan who alerted the authorities after he was reportedly kidnapped from a tavern in Simile Township in Sabie on Saturday, 6 May 2023 at about 23h30.
Members of the SAPS that were on patrol duties received a tip-off about a victim that was taken from a liquor outlet at gunpoint and forced into the suspects’ bakkie where he was allegedly forced to lie down whilst others were reportedly sitting on top of him.
Police quickly responded and the white Toyota Hilux without registration number plates was spotted with five occupants, three males (aged between 34 and 52) and two females (both aged 29) in one of the gravel roads towards Hlalanikahle near Sabie.
All five suspects were arrested and the victim gained his freedom. It was during the time when Police searched the suspects and found a Norinco pistol with its serial numbers filled off, as well as one magazine with six live ammunition.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the suspects are from Marite near Bushbuckridge. Apart from a kidnapping charge, an extra charge of possession of the firearm without a licence has been added against the suspects. Further investigation which includes ballistic testing are underway to determine if the firearm was not involved in the commission of other criminal activities elsewhere.
The five are expected to appear at the Sabie Magistrate’s Court on Monday 8 May 2023 facing the said charges.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela commended police for the job well done.