KING WILLIAMS TOWN � Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner's intervention under the auspices of Operation Stabilization aimed to fight proliferation of illegal weapons as well as violent stock theft robberies prevalent in rural towns of former Transkei like Bityi, Bhaziya in Mthatha, Qumbu and Libode continue to make great progress in eliminating illegal weapons in these crime infested rural towns.
Four male suspects aged between 33 and 65 were arrested and seven (7) illegal firearms including a R5 assault rifle, nine (9) magazines, seventy eight (78) rounds of ammunition and two holsters were confiscated in the past two days.
The assembled team comprises of Mdantsane and East London Tactical Response Team (TRT), Provincial Operation Response Services (ORS), Local Criminal Records Centre (LCRC) and Public Order Police Information (POPS).
The Stabilization Team embarked on a search for illegal firearms at Blackhill, Mahlungulu and Qumbu CBD on 12 August 2019 and yielded good results when a 38-year-old male suspect was arrested for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, a Fly wheel with three (3) rounds.
A second arrest at Blackhill, Qumbu, was a 65-year-old male who was charged for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition after he was found with a Luger 9mm Parabellum pistol with one (1) Magazine (47 live rounds) including 2 x leather holsters.
In another incident, during a stop and search at Bityi, members received information from a community member about a shooting that recently took place at a local tavern at Ematyeni Engqina locality. A certain man, known in the community was alleged to have fired a shot inside the tavern. A follow up was conducted and it led to the arrest of 33-year-old male suspect. He was charged for unlawful possession of unlicensed firearm and shooting in a prohibited municipality area.
A 9mm pistol with four (4) rounds of live ammunition and one spent cartridge were also found at the tavern and confiscated. The two suspects are expected to appear at Mthatha Magistrate's Court on 14 August 2019.
Another search and seizure operation at about 01:40am on Tuesday 13 August 2019, aimed to execute search warrants while following intelligence driven information about possession of unlicensed firearm at Gqibonco administrative Area, KwaTshapile locality in the Dalasile area led to arrest of a male suspect aged 40. The suspect was arrested and charged for unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition after he was found in possession of a R5 assault rifle with magazine loaded with 24 rounds of ammunition.
The suspect is expected to appear at Ngcobo Magistrate's Court on 14 August 2019.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Ntshinga commended the members for the recovery and arrests. "We must stamp our authority, disarm criminals and continue to remove dangerous weapons from criminals. Every firearm confiscated brings us closer to a dream of a safe and crime free Eastern Cape" she said.
Source: South African Police Service