Tenant shocked by arms cache

2011-10-11 13:08
Pretoria - A woman who found it suspicious that her landlord kept rooms and cupboards locked to hide his weapons and ammunition, says she is worried she and her children could have died if the ammunition had exploded.

Gauteng police discovered an arms cache at the house in Centurion, west of Pretoria, on Monday, Lieutenant Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said on Tuesday.

"A total of 30 firearms and thousands of ammunitions [sic] of different calibre were found," he said.

The tenant explained she was only renting some of the rooms in the house.

Ndou said: "When police opened the rooms that the tenant was barred from entering, an assortment of firearms which includes .303 rifles, 9mm pistols, revolvers, pellet guns, army uniforms, police uniform, airforce uniform, police blue lights and hunting rifles, as well as various calibre of ammunition were found."

No arrests were made. The house owner is currently overseas.

"We are still going to pursue this because we only established who he is yesterday [Monday]. We need to keep his location secret for investigative purposes, and if we blow it out of proportion it might jeopardise the case," Ndou said.

Sniffer dogs

The tenant told the Beeld newspaper the owner was staying in London.

"It was a bit strange for me because most of the house's rooms and cupboards were locked," the 38-year-old women told the paper.

"There were clothes hanging in one of the cupboards, and the owner's dishwasher, tumble-dryer and dentist chairs were still in the house. When you move you take your things with you. A person doesn't stay with other people's stuff."

The tenant called a friend from the metro police, and he brought a sniffer dog to inspect the house on Monday afternoon. The dog caught the scent of weapons and explosives behind the locked doors, and the doors were broken down.

"When he [the owner] was here last weekend I asked him why the doors are locked, and if there were any guns in the house. He said he was a knife and gun collector, but his weapons were locked up at a trader's," she told Beeld.

"We don't know how long the stuff has been lying here for. What if it exploded? I have children in the house. We would have all died," said the tenant, who was not named.

- SAPA

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