POTCHEFSTROOM – As part of intensifying efforts in the fight against illegal proliferation of firearms, police in Rustenburg Cluster through Safer Festive Season Operations arrested numerous suspects and confiscated eight illegal firearms and ammunition between Friday, 29 and Saturday, 30 November 2019.

A 47-year-old suspect was arrested by Public Safety officials after two unlicensed firearms were found in his possession on Friday, 29 November 2019. The suspect was allegedly pulled over by traffic officials after skipping a red traffic light. The officials found two firearms a blue light, ignition key and gloves in the suspect’s vehicle; a white Mazda double cab bakkie.

In another unrelated incident, police were called on Friday night to Northam Clinic where a man was certified dead on arrival after being shot with a firearm at Mmorogong village. Preliminary investigation resulted in the arrest of a suspect. One unlicensed firearm with one ammunition was found near the scene where the alleged shooting occurred.

In another incident, Marikana Visible Policing members stopped and searched a suspicious blue Hyundai Getz together with three occupants in Tlhabane on Saturday, 30 November 2019. During the search, each of the occupants was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The suspects aged 41, 32 and 38 were arrested.

In Tlhabane, a male who sustained a gunshot wound was transported to the local clinic for medical treatment by Emergency Medical Services after being found lying on the ground at Rustenburg Taxi Rank with what appeared to be a gunshot wound on the thigh. Police were called after the man was found in possession of a firearm. He was and ultimately arrested after he failed to give a proper account of the firearm and six ammunition. The suspect is currently under police guard at hospital.

In Phokeng on Friday, 29 November 2019, members were following up on information about a business robbery when they arrested four suspects at one of the local taverns. Consequently, the suspects’ vehicle was found at a car wash not far from the tavern and searched. The search led to discovery of a licensed firearm and 12 ammunition belonging to one of the suspects. Despite this, the suspects were arrested for business robbery. A case of negligent handling of firearm is also being investigated.

As a result, ten suspects are expected to appear in various courts today facing charges ranging from illegal possession of firearms and ammunition to business robbery.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane, commended members for the arrests and seizure of firearms and ammunition which are frequently used in the commission of serious and violent crimes. She said that the successes will definitely serve as a warning that police are geared up to deal with any criminality during the Safer Festive Season to ensure that communities are and feel safe.

Source: South African Police Service