A 74-year-old Eastern Cape man was arrested at his place of business by the South African Police Service in the Sarah Baartman District for being in possession of three unlicensed firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said officers from the Nemato precinct received a tip-off about the guns at a second hand shop on Biscay Road in Port Alfred.
At 1:30pm on Friday, officers executed a search warrant and pounced on the suspect at his shop.
“On searching the premises a shotgun was discovered hidden inside a pool table. Further probing led to the discovery of two more rifles which were also found hidden in the pool table.
“After the owner failed to produce licenses for the three firearms, he was arrested and detained on a charge of illegal possession of firearms. The value of the firearms are approximately R10 000,” Naidu said.
Naidu told IOL that upon searching the business, there were no indications that the suspect was a former member of the military or navy, which could justify his possession of the relic weapons.
The guns that were found were extremely old, and even rusted at some parts.
The fact that the 74-year-old had them hidden in a pool table was suspicious, Naidu explained.
District Commissioner Major General Zolani Xawuka said he hoped the arrest would send a message to shady second hand dealers.
“Our police officials will remain resolute in conducting inspections at Second Hand dealers in order to ensure compliance with the Second-Hand Goods Act, 2009 (Act No 6 of 2009) and those who falter, will be dealt with according to the Second Hand Goods Act, 2009(Act 6 of 2009),” Xawuka said.
The 74-year-old suspect will make his first court appearance on Monday at the Port Alfred Magistrate Court.