Guns of slain Cape officers found among firearms haul
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Cape Town - One of the nine suspects arrested in connection with the murder of two police officers in Bloekombos is allegedly also a police constable.
The arrest of the nine suspects came after an operation comprising members attached to the Western Cape Crime Intelligence, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Flying Squad and the Tactical Response Team descended on a number of residences, where they positively identified two firearms belonging to the police officers that were ambushed, shot and killed while patrolling in Bloekombos near Kraaifontein last Sunday.
A source, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation, revealed that one of the nine suspects arrested was a police officer, saying that subsequent information gathered indicated that the firearms that were taken from the deceased officers were kept in the house of a suspect’s girlfriend in Khayelitsha.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said the crackdown on the suspects also meant fewer illegal firearms were on the streets of Cape Town, which in many cases were used to commit violent crimes.
Cele reiterated his call for harsher punishment to be meted on those who had attacked and killed Mnakwazo Mdoko, 46, and Mninawa Breakfast, 28.
Interpol secretary-general Jürgen Stock said every day police officers around the globe are called upon to protect their communities, but too many were killed in the line of duty.
"It is imperative that their service and sacrifice are never taken for granted," said Stock, as he celebrated thousands of police officers who had lost their lives in the line of duty on the International Day of Remembrance for fallen police officers yesterday.
Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the concerted efforts of police throughout the Western Cape had resulted in the confiscation of 16 unlicensed firearms (two imitation firearms), several rounds of ammunition and substantial quantities of drugs over the weekend.
National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole said the confiscated firearms would be sent to the forensic laboratory for ballistic testing to establish if they had been used in the commission of serious and violent crimes.
The officer, who did not want to be named, said most of the firearms recovered on the streets from criminals were already previously meant to be destroyed, “which was shocking, making our job difficult because we have to apply for new serial numbers before they could be forfeited to the state and destroyed again”.
Gun Free SA director Adèle Kirsten said the theft of police guns was common and a very good example of how legal guns move into the illegal market. She said this was of great concern.