Hundreds of SAPS firearms lost, stolen

2012-09-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — More than 1 200 South African Police Service (SAPS) firearms were stolen or lost over 18 months.

Only 170 of the weapons had been recovered, said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who yesterday replied to a parliamentary question by Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard.

The firearms lost or stolen during the 2011/12 financial year included 786 handguns, 16 shotguns, 50 rifles and 33 other types of firearms.

In the first six months of the 2012/13 financial year 317 firearms were lost or stolen — 304 handguns, three shotguns, nine rifles and one other type of firearm.

A total of 146 of these were recovered in the 2011/12 financial year and 24 in the first six months of 2012/13.

Kohler Barnard also wanted to know how many police officers were trained in public order policing in the past three financial years, and how many of the police officers involved at Marikana had undergone that kind of training.

Mthethwa replied that 7 250 had been trained in the 2009/10 financial year on 52-day courses.

A total of 418 officers were trained in public order policing in each of the following two financial years. Those were similarly 52-day courses.

In reply to the Marikana question, Mthethwa said President Jacob Zuma had appointed a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the incident and that the information could not therefore be provided before the commission had completed its work.

It also emerged from a reply to a parliamentary question by Kohler Barnard that 590 police officers had been declared medically unfit since January 2008 for health reasons. A further 367 were declared medically unfit due to stress-related factors.

Mthethwa said the police service had appointed 382 additional psychologists since April 2010.

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