Corrupt cops may have sold guns handed in during amnesty

2014-06-05 05:00
Police have found an arms cache in a house in Norwood, Johannesburg. (SAPS, Twitter)

Police have found an arms cache in a house in Norwood, Johannesburg. (SAPS, Twitter)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - An investigation into the possible sale of firearms handed to police during an amnesty period is under way, the Hawks said on Wednesday.

"There was nothing to investigate before until we came across new information and decided to follow it all up," spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said.

The investigation would focus on Gauteng first. The probe followed the arrest of three people at a house in Norwood, Johannesburg, where police found more than 300 firearms, ammunition, and explosives on May 22.

A Ukrainian couple and their domestic helper were arrested on allegations of renting out the weapons for use in cash-in-transit heists and ATM bombings.

Police found R1, R4, R5, and AK-47 rifles, and about 300 handguns. Detonators, a machine used to manufacture ammunition, packaged dagga, and explosives used for ATM bombings were also confiscated.

During their bail application in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Talita Louw told the court that some of the firearms in the cache were handed to police for destruction during a national firearms amnesty in 2009.

Corrupt officers

The firearms were suspected to have been sold by corrupt police officers, Louw said.

Gun Free SA on Wednesday criticised the police.

"When gun owners handed their guns to the police during the 2009 national firearms amnesty, they trusted the police to destroy these guns," spokesperson Alan Storey said in a statement.

"The public played their part. They handed their guns in to the police for destruction.

"That some of these guns have been found in an illegal arms cache makes a mockery of South Africa's public commitment to safety and security by destroying stockpiles of weapons."

AfriForum said it had submitted a request to national police commissioner Riah Phiyega for records of firearms registers since the amnesty period.

it was hoped this would shed light on how many weapons had been destroyed since 2009.

"AfriForum also requested that it be made public how many weapons which are still to be destroyed are currently in possession of the police, and how many weapons have been misplaced by the police during the amnesty period," said spokesperson Ian Cameron.

Poor weapon control could pose a threat to national security, he said.

The three accused in the arms cache matter - Emma Shumler-Tishko, 62, her husband Mark, 59, and Endi Nkhoma, 26 - face charges of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, dealing in dagga, and contravention of the Explosives Act.

Wheelchair-bound Shumler-Tishko was released on a bail of R5 000 because of her condition, Ramaloko said.

All three are expected back in court on June 23.

Read more on:    hawks  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  police

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.