Cape Town – Police action has seen close to 30 illegal firearms that were destined to be used in violent crimes removed from the streets – some of them purportedly stolen from police officers and military armouries.
On Friday, police acted on information about a firearm at a residence in Springbok Place, Elsies River. Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said on arrival at the residence they searched a 23-year-old man and found an unlicensed firearm and ammunition in his possession.
On Saturday, Rwexana said police attached to the Provincial Task Team participated in an intelligence-driven operation and searched identified residences in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu where firearms and ammunition were seized.
“In Khayelitsha, the team searched a house in Site B and found a .38Special firearm with ammunition. Two suspects aged 38 and 41 were arrested,” she said.
Rwexana said the members proceeded to Gugulethu and upon searching a house found a 9mm pistol with 15 rounds of ammunition. The suspect, a 42-year-old woman, was arrested on charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
In a tracing operation last week, Rwexana said officers proceeded to a property in Schaap Road, Philippi East, where two teenage girls, 17 and 18, were arrested after an unlicensed firearm with ammunition was found.
Rwexana said all the suspects remained in custody and were due to appear in different courts today.
Recently, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said through monitoring the forensic data, his department was made aware of the extent of firearm-related murders during the lockdown period.
Claire Taylor, a senior researcher at Gun Free SA, said the latest national crime statistics showed that murder rates have again increased: 45% of them were firearm-related followed by knife wounds at 21%.
Taylor said that was scandalous. “Guns, unlike knives, are controlled by laws, regulations and protocols. But poor implementation as a result of weak enforcement and lack of compliance has facilitated the increasing availability of guns.”
Guy Lamb, director of the Safety and Violence Initiative at the University of Cape Town, said issues driving violent crime included access to illegal firearms and ammunition.