Elderly man to appear in Gauteng court for possession of 11 unlicensed firearms

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Pretoria – A South African Police Service (SAPS) crime intelligence-led operation this weekend resulted in the arrest of a 65-year-old man by SAPS K9 unit officers after he was allegedly found in possession of 11 unlicensed firearms and ammunition at a plot in Lusthof in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, the SAPS in Gauteng said.

“On arrival at the plot, the police searched the premises and found 11 firearms of various calibers. All firearms do not have licences and therefore the police placed the owner of the premises under arrest and he has been charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition,” Colonel Brenda Muridili said in a statement.

During the arrest, police seized three rifles, a shotgun, a semi-automatic riffle, two revolvers, two 9mm pistols, and two .22 pistols along with ammunition. Only two of the smaller handguns were found safely stored in a small safe in one of the bedrooms, as prescribed by the Firearms Control Act.

The other firearms were found under a mattress and others in another bedroom’s cupboards. The firearms would be sent to the forensic science laboratory for ballistic testing to determine whether they had been used in the commission of any crime. The arrested man would appear at the Moretele Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, April 28, Muridili said.

In two unrelated incidents this past week, another two illegal firearms were seized by police in the Eastern Cape.

In an effort to curb murders and/or attempted murders, the SAPS officers in the province continuously searched for dangerous weapons and illegal firearms, Eastern Cape SAPS spokesperson Captain Dineo Koena said in a statement.

A 35-year-old man was arrested by members of the Ngqeleni visible policing (Vispol) unit after they followed up information about a man alleged to be in possession of an unlicensed firearm.

“The suspect was found in possession of a CZ75 9mm pistol with no ammunition and its serial number filed off.” This arrest was made at Corhana locality late on Thursday night.

The arrested suspect would be profiled to determine whether he had been involved in any other crimes. He had already appeared in the Ngqeleni Magistrates’ Court on charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Another illegal firearm was recovered when members of the Mthatha public order policing unit (POP) were conducting stop-and-search operations in the Bityi area, also late on Thursday night.

The officers stopped a black Toyota Avanza in Ntilini locality, Xhongora A/A in Bityi, at about 11.10pm. After stopping the vehicle, the occupants fled on foot and upon searching the car, police recovered a 9mm Girsan pistol with a filed off serial number and seven rounds of ammunition. Both these firearms would also be sent for ballistic testing, Koena said.

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