Police find assault rifles and ammunition in house

Time of article published Oct 30, 2012

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A POLICE callout in Vanderbijlpark to a domestic dispute on Friday night resulted in the discovery of a cache of assault rifles and 70 000 rounds of ammunition.

Jacobus van Zweel appeared in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition after police said they discovered a range of firearms including an AK-47, R5 and R1 in his house.

Also found were four buckets filled with blank ammunition that, although considered non-lethal, police experts on the scene said could be used to make a pipe bomb.

Van Zweel was remanded in custody and was due to appear in the Sebokeng Regional Court today.

Police found the ammunition after reacting to a complaint of domestic violence.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said it appeared that the man had attempted suicide, and his wife called the police. When officers arrived at the house, the 47-year-old former police reservist handed over three licensed firearms, including two 9mm pistols and a shotgun. He was then taken to a police station.

“The police thought there was something suspicious and decided to go back to his residence, and that is when they found the other guns,” said Dlamini.

In the roof of the house, police found the unlicensed AK47, R5, R1 and a .357 Magnum lever-action rifle.

There were also a number of magazines for these weapons.

In Van Zweel’s possession were five licensed firearms that included two 9mm pistols, a .22 long rifle and two shotguns. Police also found two pellet guns.

On an internet forum, a man calling himself Kobus van Zweel, with the same cellphone number as the accused, advertised .22 blank ammunition for sale. He said it was used in nail guns and he had “lots” for sale.

The firearms have been sent for ballistic examination to check if they have been used to commit crimes.

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