Man arrested at a tavern, unlicensed firearm with ammunition confiscated

Man arrested at a tavern, unlicensed firearm with ammunition confiscated
Man arrested at a tavern, unlicensed firearm with ammunition confiscated. Image source: SAPS

A 38-year-old male suspect was arrested for possession of unlicensed firearm with ammunition. Thanks to members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the man was nabbed at a tavern in Hartebeeskop on Sunday evening, 24 September 2023.

According to a report, the man was apprehended by members of the SANDF during the time they were trying to intervene in a fight which reportedly broke out between the man and other patrons at a liquor outlet. It was during this moment when the SANDF members somehow got information that he has kept a suspicious weapon inside a white Toyota Quantum which he was driving. A search was then conducted by members of the Army, leading to a discovery of a pistol with ammunition inside the said minibus. The man failed to produce the licence thereof hence he was apprehended.

The Police from Hartebeeskop SAPS were notified about the incident and they detained him as well as charged him for possession of unlicensed firearm with ammunition.

The firearm was confiscated and it will undergo ballistic testing to determine if it was not previously used in the commission of crime elsewhere. Therefore Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges against the suspect as the investigation continues.

Preliminary investigation has since revealed that the firearm belongs to a certain individual whose identity is withheld at this stage as Police are still probing. Be as it may, what is known is that the firearm has not been reported stolen and the owner can possibly be charged with negligence of firearm. The question remains though as to how the firearm landed in the hands of the arrested man.

The suspect is expected to appear at the Chief Albert Luthuli Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Tuesday 26 September 2023 facing the said charges.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has applauded members of the SANDF for their contribution in the fight against the proliferation of firearms. “Heads will definitely roll to the lawful owner of the firearm but we will allow investigators to conduct their investigation. We are however very much concerned about the violent incidents that emanates from places of liquor trading. We are also thankful to law enforcement agencies for their continuous collaboration, taking back unlicensed firearms from the wrong hands. These weapons are often used in violent crimes. In this instance, not only is the firearm with ammunition recovered but also that the suspect was brought to book,” said the General.

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