Police seize over 700 firearms and 5000 rounds of ammunition in raids across KZN
Durban - Police in KwaZulu-Natal province seized more than 700 illegal firearms and 5 000 rounds of ammunition during raids in September.
The variety of weapons confiscated by the South African Police Service included 603 pistols, 15 home-made firearms, five semi-automatic firearms, 80 rifles and 36 shotguns, police media liaison officer Captain Nqobile Gwala said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The presence of illegal firearms in the hands of criminals has a negative impact on our communities. Innocent lives are being lost whilst serious and violent crimes are committed with these illegal firearms,” Gwala said.
Several gun modification accessories like barrels, silencers were also recovered.
It was not clear where the unusually large number of weapons were found.
KwaZulu-Natal acting police commissioner Major General Thulani Gonya said the recovery of the weapons was testimony to the force’s commitment to eliminating illegal firearms across the province.
He urged the public to surrender any illegal firearms that may be in their possession, during an ongoing amnesty.
Firearm amnesty provides citizens with protection against prosecution for the unlawful possession of weapons and ammunition.
Gonya said the aim of the amnesty was to reduce the circulation of illegal firearms.
On Thursday, police arrested two men suspected of being livestock thieves, with two unlicensed firearms in their possession.
According to a statement, police officers in KZN received intelligence about a vehicle moving around in the Marianhill precinct, which was spotted on Thornwood Road, just west of the Durban central business district.
A high-speed chase ensued, during which the suspects fired shots at the police, before being eventually boxed in and apprehended.
“Three suspects aged between 22 and 25 were placed under arrest. They were found in possession of two unlicensed firearms and ten rounds of ammunition,” police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said.