VIP unit weapons stolen from Air Force safe

2012-04-16 11:01

The South African Air Force has launched a commission of inquiry after four R5 assault rifles were stolen from a safe at the Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria.

The rifles belonged to the VIP protection unit tasked with protecting President Jacob Zuma’s official plane at the base.
Ten VIP protection unit guards are the primary suspects in the case, according to Beeld newspaper.

The theft was discovered on March 9 when the guards apparently opened the safe to remove the weapons in order to secure Zuma’s incoming flight.

According to the defence force spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga, the investigation into the theft has thus far included lie detector tests for the guards.

So far, the investigation has revealed that security cameras in the office had “coincidentally” not worked for some time, and that the problem had been reported but nothing had been done about it.

There was no sign that either of the two locks on the safe had been tampered with, which would indicate that the safe had been opened with a key.

The 10 guards had been summoned to a meeting at the base on March 7, during which time they had left the office locked, but unguarded.

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