364 stolen and lost SAPS firearms involved in 342 crimes
9 November 2017
Over the past eight financial years 325 South African Police Service (SAPS) firearms in Gauteng have been stolen, while a further 39 have been lost.
In the 2016/17 financial year more than 40 police firearms were stolen.
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has revealed that only 45 firearms have been recovered over the past eight years.
These firearms have been linked to 342 reported criminal incidents ranging from murder, attempted murder, hi-jacking, armed robbery, house breaking and theft.
While the MEC states that there have been 43 arrests in connection with these missing weapons, in the last eight years there has only been one successful conviction which was with regard to a murder.
In the majority of cases where firearms were retrieved, dockets have either been closed or cases have been withdrawn.
Given the findings of the latest crime statistics, it is evident that violent crime and home-based attacks are on the rise in Gauteng.
It is of little wonder that residents of Gauteng have no faith in the SAPS to keep them safe when members have no regard for their service weapons, which ultimately find their way into the hands of those who seek to do harm.
This is further compounded by the virtually non-existent conviction rate for those involved in these crimes.
MEC Nkosi-Malobane must make sure that every SAPS member adheres stringently to the Firearms Control Act and should be brought to book if they fail to do so.
The DA will write to the MEC requesting that she detail what action has been taken against negligent SAPS members who have lost their firearms or had them stolen.
Issued by Kate Lorimer, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety, 9 November 2017