Ricochet News

Eastern Cape police stations lose over 295 firearms since 2015

Sep 13, 2017
Eastern Cape police stations lose over 295 firearms since 2015

Over the past three years, from the 2015/16 financial year up to 2017/18, a total of 297 firearms belonging to the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Eastern Cape were either reported missing or stolen from police stations, while only 48 were recovered, according to a reply by Eastern Cape MEC for Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana, to legislature questions.

"Every effort must be taken by the SAPS to ensure that police firearms are safeguarded and recovered. 

"Every lost or stolen firearm becomes a weapon in the hands of criminals who slaughter countless innocent victims in this province," said Bobby Stevenson, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Safety and Security. 

For MEC Tikana's reply, click here

"In addition, over the three year period, 57 of the missing firearms were lost by SAPS members and another 129 were stolen from members. 

"The SAPS needs to be disarming criminals and not arming them," described Stevenson. 

"Clearly, the twice-yearly inspections, physical verification of firearms at each station and safes supplied to “needy stations” is not enough. 

"Last week, it was reported that according to Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, a total of 635 firearms had been stolen in the Eastern Cape between 2009 and 2014, while a further 360 had been reported missing and the province could not account for 732 weapons."

He said that serious steps must be taken against SAPS members who are found to have been careless in losing or having their firearms stolen. 

"A lack of discipline, accountability and consequence management are the root cause of this negligence. 

"The DA is committed to making the Eastern Cape a safer province for all its citizens," Stevenson said. 

"A key part of this is ensuring a well-trained and disciplined police service."