Joburg businessman Zunaid Moti allegedly paid a R50 000 bribe to a police officer after purchasing guns at Dave Sheer Guns. Photo: Paballo Thekiso

Johannesburg - A State witness who blew the whistle on the alleged illegal activities at Dave Sheer Guns claimed in police affidavits that a number of controversial businessmen were regulars at the shop.

The woman, who worked at the gun shop for four years, alleged that these businessmen had paid bribes to ensure their gun licences were granted.

Last week, The Star revealed that Dave Sheer Guns was at the centre of an investigation by forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan and the Hawks.

The witness said she had personally paid bribes to the head of the Central Firearms Registry, Brigadier Mathapelo Miriam Mangwani, who was nicknamed “Mama”.

In her affidavit, the witness claimed that Joburg businessman Zunaid Moti visited the shop in 2011 and was accompanied by a superintendent from the Central Firearms Registry.

“Moti chose a Protecta shotgun, a Maverick shotgun, a Dashprod semi-automatic rifle and a Heckler & Koch pistol,” she said. The witness could not remember the fifth weapon.

She said it wasn’t long afterwards that Moti arrived at the shop with signed temporary licences to collect the firearms.

The witness said her colleague told her that Moti had paid R50 000 to Brigadier Steven Choshi to get his temporary licences.

“The second time I saw Moti, he had allegedly ‘lost’ the firearms he purchased previously,” she said. Moti had bought the same weapons again, she said.

However, the colleague has denied the account provided by the source.

Moti denied any wrongdoing, saying the correct process was followed when he acquired his firearms. “There were two firearms that were stolen from me in a robbery, which was reported to the SAPS. They were not lost.”

Choshi said the allegations were false.

“It’s a total lie… Where is this money? I’m going to sue the people who are saying these things,” he said.

On Sunday, police suspended Mangwani and Brigadier Hlamane Elias Mahlabane without pay for allegedly corrupt activities in relation to the case.

Dave Sheer Guns employees Gareth de Nysschen and Demis Karatmitsos were arrested by the military police at OR Tambo International Airport for a separate investigation in which it was alleged that Dave Sheer Guns had bought stolen military ammunition. The matter is before court.

The Star