184 illegal weapons seized in Eastern Cape over last two months of firearm amnesty

Seized guns, file image
Seized guns, file image
Image: Saps

Eastern Cape police recovered 128 pistols, 24 rifles, 16 shotguns, 12 homemade firearms, two automatic/semi-automatic weapons and two muzzle loaders during April and May, the last two months of the firearm amnesty.

Col Sibongile Soci said in a statement the firearm amnesty period provided an opportunity for members of the public to surrender unwanted firearms and ammunition, firearms possessed unlawfully, as well as firearm parts, to police without fear of being prosecuted for the unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition.

In addition to the illegal firearms seized, he said “the momentum continued with the recovery of 329 rounds of ammunition and 45 firearms from June 1—15”.

Said Soci: “Criminals with devious intentions who did not heed the call to surrender their firearms were arrested and appeared in various courts with charges ranging from illegal possession of firearms, prohibited possession of firearms as well as pointing of a firearm.”

In the latest busts, he said a 39-year-old male was found in possession of a 9mm pistol and a 9mm magazine with one live round of ammunition at Qota locality, Ngcobo, on June 12. Further investigation revealed that the firearm was reported stolen in Rondebosch.

A second suspect, a 29-year-old female, was found in possession of an unlicensed 9mm pistol with one magazine loaded with five live rounds. The firearm was not reported stolen.

The suspects were charged for possession of illegal firearms and ammunition and both appeared at the Ngcobo magistrate’s court on Monday.

Eastern Cape provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Liziwe Ntshinga said: “The proliferation of firearms remains an operational priority of SAPS. It is a fact that firearms are at the centre of all instances involving serious violent crime. By encouraging the safekeeping of firearms in our communities, collectively we can prevent legal firearms from becoming illegal.”

Soci said all the recovered/confiscated firearms have been sent for ballistic testing to ascertain whether they have been used in the commission of crime.

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