Former district mayor in dock on diamond case

2011-07-26 00:00

A FORMER executive mayor of a KwaZulu-Natal municipality was arrested in Pretoria on Thursday evening on allegations of possessing unlicensed firearms and ammunition and on suspicion of dealing in diamonds and gold.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela said the Sunnyside police swooped on the men at the local Maxima Hotel.

They were allegedly preparing a diamond and gold deal with a Nigerian national.

Polela confirmed that the ex-district mayor is Stanley Dladla, who is still holding a senior managerial position in Uthukela. Dladla was arrested with six other men, among them his own son.

The men were arrested and their luxurious vehicles, which included a Q7 Audi, Mercedes Benz ML and an Isuzu double cab, were confiscated.

“Four firearms were found in three different vehicles. We would expect the case to be postponed since it was their first appearance, but I can’t tell for sure what the outcomes of the court appearance were,” said Polela.

Among the firearms recovered were a Luger 9mm pistol, Lee Enfield 303 rifle, a CBC 12-gauge shotgun and a large amount of ammunition.

Polela said the men tried to run away from the police, but were cornered. The Daily Sun reported yesterday that the suspects had tried to bribe a police officer with R30 000, but the police officer reported the matter.

It was also reported that a diamond tester, a scale and nitric acid used to clean jewellery and cellphones were confiscated.

The six face charges of possession of illegal firearms, and the seventh man an additional charge of trying to bribe a police officer.

They spent the weekend in police holding cells and were to have appeared in the Pretoria Magristrate’s Court yesterday.

At this stage it is unclear how the court proceedings went as Sunnyside police spokesperson Warrant Officer Asnath Malatsi had no information about the proceedings by yesterday evening.

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