Concern over theft of assault weapons

2010-08-24 09:09

kalahari.com

Pretoria – Dozens of automatic assault rifles, which are used increasingly often in farm attacks, have been stolen from the defence force’s arsenal over the past three years.

Besides the R1 and R5 assault rifles, five mortars and six missile launchers were also stolen.

This information came in answer to a written question in Parliament addressed to Lindiwe Sisulu, minister of defence, by Pieter Groenewald, FF+ spokesperson for defence.

It is unclear whether the missing mortars are the mortar tubes or the mortar bombs. The two can only be used together.

According to Groenewald, the loss of 183 firearms from the army’s storerooms since 2007points to poor management and control over the safekeeping of weapons.

Sisulu’s explanation that everything possible is being done to guard the weapons indicates, according to him, that future theft of weapons will simply have to be accepted.

Most of the weapons – 142 – were stolen in 2007, seven in 2008 and 36 in 2009. As of yet only one weapon has been stolen this year.

Cause for concern

According to Helmoed-Römer Heitman, a military expert, at least there are indications of a dramatic decline in the theft since 2007.

He agrees that it is especially the stolen R5 rifles which are a cause for concern.

Criminals can buy 5.56mm ammunition for these weapons at any hunting shop.

The R1 rifles were supposed to have been withdrawn from service already.

Sisulu’s answers do not stipulate where the weapons were stolen. Heitman suspects some of the weapons might have been stored precisely for the purpose of being destroyed later, and that they went missing at this stage.

According to Heitman, the 40mm missile launcher on Sisulu’s list is presumably a grenade and/or projectile launcher.

“It can’t really be used in a crime unless someone wants to open fire on a building. Also, the tube and bomb work together as a system, and you need the one to fire the other.”

Heitman is at a loss regarding the theft of a 70mm missile, since only the Rooivalk assault helicopter can use this weapon. He suspects it “went missing” in the logistics system.


 

Read more on:    sandf  |  pieter groenewald  |  lindiwe sisulu
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.