The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Gauteng recovered more than 230 unlicensed firearms and more than 4590 live rounds of ammunition from 1 November 2023 to 14 November.
These firearms were recovered across the province during integrated crime combatting operations that include Operation Shanela and stop-and-searches, while others were recovered through the tip-offs from members of the community.
In some of the incidents, police from the Anti-Gang Unit received information that two suspects were involved in a shooting incident in Westbury. The suspects were identified, and their whereabouts were confirmed. On 11 of November, police pounced on the premises where the suspects were hiding.
Upon searching the premises, police found two unlicensed firearms and arrested both suspects.In Rabieridge, Ekurhuleni District, on the 7th of November 2023, police recovered three unlicensed and more than ninety live rounds of ammunition after a shootout with the suspects. Police received information about the whereabouts of suspects who were wanted for cases of armed robberies in Ekurhuleni.
Information was operationalised, and police proceeded to a house in Phomolong, Rabieridge, where suspects were hiding. As police were entering the house, suspects started to shoot at them, and shootout ensued. As a result, one suspect was fatally wounded while the others fled.
Police recovered three unlicensed firearms, seven magazines, and more than ninety rounds of ammunition inside the house. Four suspects were arrested in Jeppe, Johannesburg District, on 8 November, after they were found with unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Police were conducting patrols when they spotted a suspicious vehicle with four occupants in Jeppe.
Police immediately stopped the vehicle. Upon searching the suspects, police found unlicensed firearms and ammunition in their possession. On Thursday, 2 November , police were conducting a stop-and-search in Westbury, Johannesburg District, when they heard some gun shots.
Police stopped and searched a male who was from the side where shots were fired. In his possession, an unlicensed firearm loaded with ammunition was found, and the suspect was arrested. Several other firearms and ammunition were recovered in all the districts across the province.All the recovered firearms were sent for ballistic analysis to determine whether they are linked to other crimes.The Provincial Commissioner of the Police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, commended the police, private security companies and the community of Gauteng for pulling together to remove the firearms that are in the wrong hands in the province.
“The recovery of these weapons will contribute to the reduction of crime, especially this festive season, as most of the violent crimes like business robberies and cash-in-transit heists are committed by gangs who are armed with unlicensed firearms,” said Lieutenant General Mawela.
The community is urged to continue to report criminal activities by calling the nearest police station or crime stop on 08600 10111 or alternatively leave an anonymous tip-off on the My SAPS App, that can be downloaded from any smartphone.