Will be interesting to see where these firearms end up!
snipet *** This has not been a particularly good Easter weekend for the authorities. Early on Good Friday morning several criminals raided 9 SA Infantry Battalion’s base in Khayelitsha, and escaped with six R4 automatic rifles and ammunition. Later the same day a report in the Daily Dispatch surfaced about a Dimbaza SAPS constable who is on the run after stealing five firearms from a police station.
The weapons in question were confiscated from private persons in the township, and were supposed to be sent for ballistic testing when they were stolen by the official. It is not the first such an incident at Dimbaza police station; in 2012 thirty 9mm pistols were stolen from a safe in the station.
What is concerning about the incident is not only that a police officer, tasked with the duty of upholding law and order, would commit such a crime, but that if it weren’t for whistle blowers inside the SAPS leaking the information the entire thing would likely have been covered up by the authorities.
Whether or not this obfuscation is done with the intent of avoiding embarrassment, or for the more sinister reason of protecting the individuals complicit in these crimes, is hard to tell.
Considering that just over a month ago, on the evening of 13 March, a break-in at Peddie police station’s SAP 13 storage facility resulted in the theft of 30 firearms (including 12 R5 automatic rifles), the SAPS have much to be embarrassed about.
The result of all of the above is that in little over a month the State has supplied criminals with over 41 firearms, of which 18 are fully-automatic R4 and R5 rifles.
And these are merely the reports I have happened to read. When considering what else the SAPS and SANDF are hiding from us, as well as the reports I have not managed to read, the chances are things are markedly worse in reality.
Before I start, I need to add a disclaimer.
I am not anti-SAPS by any stretch of the imagination. It is staffed by many good men and women who put their lives on the line daily, and who try to make a positive difference to the safety of their communities. They deserve praise and admiration. The SAPS also deserves far, far better leadership than it is currently subjected to. To those officers who continue, despite these most trying times, to perform their duties with pride, integrity, and diligence: I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are an inspiration to us all, and a beacon of light in times of darkness.
You know who you are.
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