SAPS destroys 9 447 firearms

By Drum Digital
16 January 2015

Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega addresses media ahead of destroying over 9 000 seized illegal firearms

Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega addressed the media at the South African Police Service (SAPS) headquarters in Vereeniging before the destruction of seized illegal firearms on Friday.

Phiyega said that the the seizure and destruction of the firearms is a reflection of the competence of the SAPS.

"Today is proof of the fact that we are cleaning up our streets and getting rid of illegal and unlicensed firearms that are being used to terrorise and destroy our communities and threatening the safety of everyone living in or visiting South Africa," said Phiyega.

A total of 9 447 firearms were destroyed according to the country's firearm act.

"Of these firearms, 2 659 are from Mpumalanga, 2 095 from Eastern Cape, 1 146 from North West and 355 from Northern Cape. ," the general said.

Phiyega also mentioned the number of weapons that have been destroyed by the SAPS over the past four years.

"We have destroyed more than 110 000 firearms and about 1 million rounds of ammunition.  Over and above this, we have destroyed about 43 000 knives confiscated all over Gauteng Province over the past six months," she said

"We are currently processing a further estimated 15000 firearms which will be destroyed later in July during the International Gun Destruction Day," Phiyega added.

Phiyega recognised that the infiltration of illegal firearms in the country is due to loss or theft and has come up with plans to curb the number of these incidences happening to police members.

"We have put several control measures in place to ensure that we reduce the loss of firearms. At some stage we were losing some 4000 firearms per year but we have reduced it to 771 in the previous financial year," the Commisioner said.

Phiyega concluded that if "there is negligence on the part of our members or any criminality, we will not hesitate to take action against the officers concerned."

International Gun Destruction Day will take place on the 9th of July.

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