Durban - KwaZulu-Natal police are losing more firearms to theft than their counterparts anywhere else in the country.
This was according to Police Minister Fikile Mbalula’s response to a question posed by the DA in Parliament recently.
The figures provided showed that 550 guns were stolen from SAPS armouries in KZN over the last three-and-a-half years.
This is more than a quarter of the total of 2 027 that were stolen from SAPS armouries around South Africa during that period.
Earlier this year, rights activist Vanessa Burger told the Moerane commission - which was set up by Premier Willies Mchunu to investigate political killings in KZN - that a police officer supplied guns to violence ridden Glebelands hostel.
And on Tuesday DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement that the reality was that the SAPS was “fuelling the illegal arms trade”.
She said the DA planned to conduct oversight visits to SAPS armouries and called on Mbalula to order a national audit of all SAPS firearms.
Kohler Barnard called the situation, the result of “institutional failure at the SAPS”.
KZN violence monitor Mary de Haas said on Tuesday that the figures were indicative of “mismanagement at all levels”.
“It’s lax control. If a gun go missing from the SAPS, someone is responsible. Someone must be held accountable," de Haas said.
The SAPS communications department could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.