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Over 180 firearms surrendered or seized by police during amnesty period

Jun 17, 2020
Over 180 firearms surrendered or seized by police during amnesty period

Bhisho - Eastern Cape police say 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 the South African Police Service without fear of being prosecuted for the unlawful possession thereof.

"This meant an indemnity against prosecution for the unlawful possession of a firearm or ammunition," said police spokesperson, Colonel Sibongile Soci.

"In an effort to turn the tide, save innocent lives and cease the proliferation of illegal firearms in the province, during the last two months (April/May) of the amnesty period, police members recovered/confiscated a total of 184 illegal firearms from the hands of criminals.

"These included 128 pistols, 24 rifles, 16 shotguns, 12 homemade firearms, two automatic/semi-automatic and two muzzleloaders.

"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.

"The momentum continued with the recovery of 329 rounds of ammunition and 45 firearms from 01 – 15 June 2020."

He added that on the 12th of June, valuable information about persons suspected to be in possession of an unlicensed firearm at Qota locality, Ngcobo, was received.

"Ngcobo Tactical Response Team were deployed to follow up on the information. A 39-year-old male was found in possession of a 9mm pistol and a 9mm magazine with one live round of ammunition. Further investigation revealed that the firearm was reported stolen in Rondebosch," Col Soci said. 

"The second suspect, a 29-year-old female was found in possession of unlicensed firearm 9mm pistol with one magazine loaded with five rounds of live ammunition. 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.

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

Eastern Cape SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga, commended the zeal and determination by the members in the province to rid the communities of illegal firearms.

“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,” said Lieutenant General Ntshinga.

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