Provincial Commissioner warns community to stop playing with firearms at funerals

South African Police Service

Provincial Commissioner warns community to stop playing with firearms at funerals
Provincial Commissioner warns community to stop playing with firearms at funerals

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, is perturbed by incidences where gun taunting individuals often fire shots randomly at funerals. Another incident recently took place over the weekend.

These individuals become trigger happy and discharge firearms totally disregarding the law and lives of other funeral attendees or children. General Zuma therefore condemns such incidences in the strongest terms and indicated that such dangerous actions must not be supported. “Bereaved families must assist police and not allow criminals to discharge firearms during funerals of their loved ones, irrespective of how the deceased behaved while still alive.

The condemnation by General Zuma comes after four men and a woman were arrested on Saturday, 19 September 2020, by the Tactical Response Team members. The suspects are alleged to have attended a funeral at Masoyi Trust. Their arrest came after police received damning reports about certain individuals who were busy firing shots at a funeral claiming they were bidding farewell to their friend.

In that regard, police followed this information and cornered the suspects at Hazyview, whereupon searching them, police found two unlicensed firearms loaded with ammunition. On 21 September 2020, the villains made their first appearance at the White River Magistrate’s Court, where they were all remanded in custody until Friday, 25 September 2020. Sfiso Mkhabela (31), Sipho Khoza (36), Sendra Ngwenya (33), Sizwe Johannes Mkhabela (26) and Eulanda Mlimi (28), were all not asked to plea hence they were sent packing back to custody.

Last month, a similar incident occurred at Marite Trust near Hazyview where a group of lawlessness individuals also fired shots after a funeral in a so called after tears event. In that occasion, the Tactical Response Team members responded but were shot at by the very same suspects who were negligently using firearms. The police had to defend themselves at which two suspects were fatally shot, meanwhile a third one was injured. Two firearms with serial numbers filed off were confiscated and 11 suspects arrested, charged with violation of Lockdown Regulations. Six of the 11 were further charged with nine counts of attempted murder, two counts of murder, three of malicious damage to property and two counts of possession of prohibited firearms.

These six suspects were all granted bail ranging between R7000 and R3000, however two abandoned their bail. Their case is expected back at the Mkhuhlu Magistrate’s Court on 21 October 2020, whereas they will also appear for the Lockdown Regulations’ case on 19 October 2020, which the other five will join them in the dock.

“This is surely enough evidence showing how some individuals can disregard the law to that extent. I urge the community not to celebrate such actions nor tap these unscrupulous individuals on their shoulders and unduly crowning them champions or wise. Report these people to the police because they are a danger to the society,” concluded General Zuma.

SAPS Newsroom

South Africa Today – South Africa News

SOURCESouth African Police Service