Two arrested‚ military gear seized after navy burglary

Two people were arrested in an intelligence-driven overnight raid in the southern suburbs of Cape Town for allegedly stealing weapons‚ ammunition and hand grenades from the country’s biggest naval base at Simon’s Town.

South African National Defence Force spokesman Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga confirmed the “loss of various types of military equipment” from the base – a national key point – in a burglary over the weekend.

The brazen raid put a spotlight firmly on security at military installations with many observers asking how it was possible to breach security.

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha told TMG Digital: “We can certainly confirm that two suspects‚ aged 18 and 26‚ were arrested in Steenberg on Thursday morning in an intelligence-driven overnight raid by the Hawk’s CATS (Crimes Against the State) and Crime Intelligence units‚ following the burglary incident at the Navy base over the weekend in Simon’s Town.”

He said that “various army equipment” had been found in their possession.

The two are expected to appear in court soon.

The Times newspaper reported earlier on Thursday that hand grenades‚ machine guns‚ pistols and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were stolen from six storerooms at the base.

Rapport newspaper revealed recently that security contracts for five of the country’s biggest munitions depots had lapsed because the military had failed to pay the contractors. Soldiers guarding Bloemfontein’s Tempe military base have also been attacked and robbed of their firearms. – TMG Digital






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