2 People shot, suspect arrested with stolen SANDF pistol, Piet Retief

South African Police Service

2 People shot, suspect arrested with stolen SANDF pistol, Piet Retief
2 People shot, suspect arrested with stolen SANDF pistol, Piet Retief

A man (28) was nabbed by the Police in Piet Retief after allegedly shooting two people in February 2023, then went into hiding. He was arrested in the afternoon of Monday 13 March 2023 and during his arrest, a firearm belonging to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) which was reported stolen was allegedly found in his possession.

It is said that on Friday, 24 February 2023 at about 00:30 am a group of people gathered for a social purposes at an area called Osloop near Piet Retief. Suddenly a scuffle reportedly broke out amongst them whereby the man allegedly drew a firearm and shot at the two victims who sustained some injuries, one was injured on both arm and leg whilst the other one who was a bystander, got shot on the leg.

The suspect then fled the scene immediately after the atrocious incident.

Police at Piet Retief were informed about the incident whereby a case with two counts of attempted murder was opened.

The victims were taken to hospital for medical treatment meanwhile police began with their probe.

On Monday 13 March 2023, around 16:30 members from Piet Retief Detective Services received information on the whereabouts of the suspect who was hiding inside a shack in the nearby bushes, not far from where the reported incident occurred.

The details were immediately followed by the said members and upon arrival at the place they found the suspect in possession of a pistol as well as seven live ammunition. That was when he was arrested and charged for possession of unlicensed firearm with ammunition. He was also charged for the two counts of attempted murder.

It was through preliminary investigation that revealed the ownership of the said firearm, which is the SANDF. The record shows that the pistol was reportedly stolen in Middelburg, back in March 2004.

Ballistic testing will surely be conducted to ascertain if the firearm was not used in other criminal activities hence the suspect could have more charges added against him as the investigation continues.

On 14 March 2023, police were amazed to discover that the shack which the suspect was arrested in, has been torched by some people who are not yet known to the police.

The male suspect is expected to appear at the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday 15 March 2023 facing the said charges.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Major General Zeph Mkhwanazi has discouraged residents from taking the law into their own hands referring to the burning down of the shack. The General has further commended members for their resilience in the battle against crime, specifically on recovering firearms from those who possess them without being authorized to do so. “We are adamant as police that, with the rate in which we are moving in concerning the recovery of firearms from the wrong hands, the road to that realization of safety for all is much clearer and attainable” said the General.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service