File picture: Independent Media
Cape Town – Parliament's defence and military veterans portfolio committee on Sunday called for an urgent review of security at all South African National Defence Force (SANDF) military bases in the country to ensure that they meet the requisite standard.
The committee was concerned by "reports of a heist" at 9 South African Infantry Battalion Base in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on Friday, committee chairperson Malusi Motimele said. “Military bases are supposed to be the most secure sites considering the kind of weaponry kept at these sites. It is thus alarming that robbers are of late targetting these sites, more so because these weapons stolen will surely be used for nefarious deeds,” he said.
The robbery followed a similar incident at the Simon’s Town Naval Base late last year. These incidents concerned the committee and had to receive urgent attention from the defence department and command structures within the military. "The committee thus calls for an urgent review of security at all military bases in the country to ensure that they meet the requisite standard.
The committee will urgently convene a meeting with the department to ascertain measures put in place to reverse these worrying incidents," Motimele said. Soldiers at the SANDF base in Khayelitsha were reportedly held up and six assault rifles were stolen early on Friday morning.
According to reports, five armed men stormed the base, overpowered the gate guards, and took their R4 rifles and ammunition. The robbers forced the guards inside the base and overpowered five more soldiers in the armoury guard room. It was understood the robbers forced the soldiers to open a safe. A total of six rifles were stolen during the robbery, News 24 reported.
In August last year a group of three men stole military equipment, assault rifles, and hand grenades from the Simon’s Town Naval Base. The men were arrested, the report said.