A 40-year-old former South African National Defence Force officer has been arrested in connection with the brazen heist at the 9 South African Battalion Base in Harare, Khayelitsha, on Good Friday morning.
The ex-soldier was being questioned by investigators on Thursday afternoon and it is believed he will assist police in the capture of the four other suspects.
Last week, five armed men entered the base and overpowered five guards stationed at the armoury.
They forced them to open the safe at gunpoint and made off with six R4 rifles and ammunition.
No deaths or injuries were reported during the robbery.
A former SANDF officer who previously worked at the base told the Daily Voice it could only have been an “inside job” and it seems he has been proven right.
The 65-year-old veteran says he thinks his hunch set the cops on the right track.
“I spoke to some ex-army officers who retired with me and we were all in agreement. You have to know the base to know how to get into the armoury,” he says.
“This guy was probably discharged for bad behaviour, given almost no payout and thought he would treat the base’s armoury like a Sassa payday. Dom jong." (“This guy was probably discharged for bad behaviour, given almost no payout and thought he would treat the base’s armoury like a Sassa payday. Stupid guy.")
“They probably still have the rifles lying around, waiting for a buyer."
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed the arrest and praised the investigation team.
“Unrelenting efforts by Provincial Organised Crime investigators assisted by various units resulted in the apprehension of a 40-year-old former SANDF member today,” he says.
“In an intelligence-led operation, police pounced on the suspect at an identified location in Harare, Khayelitsha, [yesterday] morning. Our detectives are currently questioning the man.”