Police have 'lost' 20 429 weapons

2011-03-09 10:49

Cape Town - The police force admitted on Tuesday that a lack of discipline and weapon control was "worrying", after it came to light that police had "lost" 20 429 weapons since April 2004.

Top management couldn't say in Parliament on Tuesday how many officials had been criminally prosecuted, disciplined or fired due to the losses.

MPs from the ANC and opposition parties reacted angrily and said it was unacceptable that citizens were prosecuted for losing their private weapons while police officials got off scot-free.

MPs even accused the police of playing in part in the country's high crime rate.


According to statistics presented by Lieutenant-General Gary Kruser, head of procurement services, to the portfolio committee on police, only 4 810 weapons were found again in the same time period.

Top management couldn't come up with answers when committee members questioned them about what happened to officials who lost their weapons.

"The Firearms Control Act puts a huge responsibility on citizens but an official can lose one weapon, a second and a third weapon and still keep his firearm licence. But if I lose my weapon, it is another matter," said Annelize van Wyk of the ANC.

She said the conditions were much stricter for civilians than for police officials. "If you take into account all the losses, police are responsible for the increase in illegal firearms."

ANC MP and committee chairperson Sindi Chikunga ascribed the losses to a "laissez-faire attitude" in the police, "because I know if I lose my weapon, I will get another one".


"I am convinced that many murders are committed with police weapons."

The DA's Dianne Kohler Barnard said she wouldn't be surprised if officials sold their weapons to criminals.

Pieter Groenewald of the FF+ wanted to know how many officials had been criminally prosecuted and how many had competency certificates.

MPs believed police officials should be responsible for paying for weapons they had lost and that they should be punished.

Police national personnel head, Lieutenant General Magda Stander, admitted the lack of discipline and firearm control was "indeed worrying".

  • Kia4 - 2011-03-09 10:55

    That explains the violent crime rate!!! shocking..........

      tigertank - 2011-03-09 11:35

      Phew......they find it "worrying"...I can sleep easy at night knowing that they are now worried. Maybe they will even become "irked" or "perturbed". If the army loses a tank or two, they might even spill their tea!

      rodneykdc - 2011-03-09 12:39

      20429 & counting , what a good business , the stock is free , profits are good , free delivery anywhere any time , just phone 10111 to place your order , buy three and your ammo is FREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

      SaintBruce - 2011-03-09 13:11

      And nobody asked how much ammunition has been lost at the same time? I am incredulous as to how the Police Officer can 'lose' a firearm. It is in a holster, attached to his/ her belt that is fastened around the waist ( maybe also holds their pants up). In the days gone by military and Police had lanyards around the shoulder under the epauletts ( ever wondered why the shirts have those) and fastened to the butt of the pistol or revolver. So - if running or in a physical combat situation, the weapon is still attached to the officer even if dropped. This is a very cheap fix! As for R5 and R1 rifles and shotguns, how do you 'lose' something that big? Some comments say the police sell these weapons, then get another one! In the 'old' SADF if you mislaid / lost your weapon you were in serious trouble. I know this as a guy in my squad had his R1 stolen when he went to a shebeen ( left it in the jeep) in a township and got drunk. The police picked up a guy carrying it later that night and the idiot returned to barracks without realising the weapon was gone! When the MP's arrived he was shocked sober! This is a shocking confession by our Police and citizens should demand more details and corrective action.

      Kevin - 2011-03-09 13:15

      ;-D Tigertank your comment is very funny, my wife and I had a good laugh, albeit a very serious situation. Well done bud your humour rises to the top.

      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-03-09 13:33

      They talk the talk, now lets see if they walk the walk. I suggest they start by firing the one responsable: Cele. He is the one in charge and therefor responsable. ANY cop that loses his/her firearm should be fined the first time and fired the second time. That will end this very quickly I think.

      Kia4 - 2011-03-09 13:59

      It would appear that the police force is not being sensatised on ethical behaviour... From the leaders all the way down to the officers, Apparent from the Jacki Selebi case and now with Bheki Cele! It needs serious overhaul!!!

      Heather Stip - 2011-03-09 14:44

      Ha-ha, tigertank, very funny! Just the laugh I needed!

      Jo - 2011-03-09 15:25

      That's an average o f 7.9 weapons a day for 7 years - every day. I'm amazed that we aren't tripping over them in the streets, if they've been "lost".

      GP - 2011-10-12 17:50

      Yes. So around 21,000 deaths have been caused due to police negligence! (assuming only 1 person is murdered with each gun!!!)

  • Viparo - 2011-03-09 10:55

    Bunch of clowns. How do they expect any respect from the public? The cops from the movie "Police academy" have more respect from me.

      Felix - 2011-03-09 11:17


      Hans-Erik Iken - 2011-03-09 13:30

      Off course they do Viparo, at least in those films they actually manage to solve the crime...

      Dirk - 2011-03-09 13:48

      And they keep their guns.....

  • Superdude - 2011-03-09 10:56

    Cheese and rice thats mindblowing.

  • Alwyn - 2011-03-09 10:59

    Lost??? Rather say Police have sold 20429 fire carms to criminals out there,,,,,How can we trust cops to look after us of they can not even be trusted to look after fire arms,again proof of a very incompetent Police Force run by incompetent fools

      Alwyn - 2011-03-09 11:00

      Meant to say fire arms ,typing error

      HowardX - 2011-03-09 17:22

      Precisely. How do you just "lose" a gun, anyway? Obviously, so many "lost" weapons can only be because they are being re-sold. They should charge police officers whose firearms are found to be used in a crime as accessories to the crime - that should put a stop to it.

  • patrickb - 2011-03-09 11:00

    As Mrs Thatcher said: "if you think the ANC is capable of running South Africa, you are living in cloud cuckoo land"

      GT - 2011-03-09 11:39

      Let's not let facts ruin a good story. The widely-quoted “cloud-cuckoo land” remark attributed to MT at the end of this article is apocryphal. As far as can be traced she never made a public comment even similar to this. Rather the origin of the quote appears to be a response by her press spokesman, Bernard Ingham, on 16 October 1987 at the Vancouver Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. A Canadian journalist speculated that the African National Congress might overthrow the white South African regime, to which he replied: “It is cloud cuckooland for anyone to believe that could be done.” (See Washington Post, 17 Oct 1987.) Years later the words were modified and attributed to MT by Hugo Young, who claimed that she had said at Vancouver: “Anyone who thinks that the ANC is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land”. (See The Guardian, 26 Apr 1994.) In that form they became part of the journalistic ‘record’.

      Zee - 2011-03-09 14:55

      BOOM - nice one GT, can't argue with facts!

      Dougalan - 2011-03-09 16:23

      Apocryphal or not - it is the total truth. The ANC have absolutely proved themselves incapable of running South Africa - hospitals have become death camps, ANC municipalities cannot get clean audits, service is not delivered, the police - starting from Cele - are a shambles, our submarines and Gripen fighters (bought at massive cost to include kickbacks) are lying idle for lack of maintenance....the list just goes on and on. When will voters realise it is THEY who are being robbed by the ANC and vote for decent governance instead of 'cloud cuckoo land governance'.

  • gilliansan - 2011-03-09 11:01 ass!

  • Barry - 2011-03-09 11:02

    Not Lost. Sold to criminals

  • wormyzn - 2011-03-09 11:04

    Never mind how many State firearms are lost, what is the number of those handed in by legal owners?

      Felix - 2011-03-09 11:18

      ? your point sir ?

      oubaaspieter - 2011-03-09 11:47

      And what happens to those handed in?

      Squeeze - 2011-03-09 12:22

      That is why i won't hand in my fire arms. I need to protect me and my family against the corrupt police

      Mike - 2011-03-09 12:24

      @ Felix - Alot of handed in weapons are finding their way back onto the street, how the %$^& do you think that happens ? you dumbass

      Peter - 2011-03-09 12:32

      @Felix, his point is that guns don't kill people, police and their criminal pals do.

      EchoTango - 2011-03-09 15:55

      I think what wormyzn is trying to say is that while law abiding citizens are "forcefully" encourage by the difficulty in getting your licence renewed the police are arming the criminals.

      Justinpassin - 2011-03-09 17:02

      A good point. How many firearms have been handed in to the police by civilians since the FCA became law?. The next question is more pertinent - How many of these firearms do the police still have in their possession?. The answer to this might be mind-boggling!. How many have been sold or given to the criminal elements?.

  • stiffler - 2011-03-09 11:05

    Lets stop generalising for a second, that'll get us no where because im sure there are a few honest cops still left. Cops who take care of their weapons and vehicles etc. How about we name and shame the ones that somehow lose their weapons or equipment. Lets point fingers at those directly responsible, maybe then we can get some direct answers. Mr police commissioner... can you assist? LMFAO .... well we can all hope right??

      Alwyn - 2011-03-09 11:12

      You are right,they are called white cops ,,,,left the force because of racism and nepotism,,victimisation,,,Idiots got promoted instead of hard working honest cops ,And this is a fact,i gave 24 years of my life and health to the SAP circuss but use my expertise and commitment in the private sector where im still appreciated

      HowardX - 2011-03-09 17:25

      No need to name and shame them. Just apply the law and charge them as accessories to any crimes committed with their "lost" weapons.

  • AJ - 2011-03-09 11:07

    If you are shot, it might be by a cop, or it might be by a criminal, but in either case it most probably using a police firearm. Disgusting.

  • will baker - 2011-03-09 11:07

    This is what happens when you put some uneducated idiot in charge of the police.

      ardeola7 - 2011-03-09 11:58

      Right - we just manage to get rid of one stupid, crooked man who knows nothing about police work (Selebi), when they "deploy" another one with exactly the same qualifications!

  • foulshamnairn - 2011-03-09 11:08

    Lost or Sold?

  • 24newsreader - 2011-03-09 11:08

    Idiots its a crime against the nation, treason. No wonder we have so much crime

      Mr Hobbit - 2011-03-09 11:19

      EXACTLY - TREASON! It used to be punishable by death. However, our previous National Police Commissioner set the tone, consorting with self-confessed drug lords. Finish & klaar.

  • General.AlanMuller - 2011-03-09 11:10

    This is of course in relation to the 3500 odd firearms lost by and/or stolen from ligitimate Firearm owners in the same period ... who should control who... this also does not mention the alegged renting of firearms(usually R 5 lmg) to criminals on an hourly basis by corrupt cops.... and Yes not all cops are bad and or corrupt... but poor slaries and terrible management mean we loose good Cops every day to the private sector...

  • Dan Grey - 2011-03-09 11:12

    Heaven forbid you should lose your gun, for then you will be punished. Were the police punished??? Of course not! The guns were sold.

  • Say It - 2011-03-09 11:12

    if only we had access to the following: 1. How many civilian weapons have gone "lost" not stolen; 2. How many civilian weapons were stolen using "lost" SAPS weapons; 3. Steps taken against SAPS officials for losing weapons, vis-a-vis steps that can be taken against civilians that "loose" there weapons. in the latter criminal charges can be instituted against civilians.

  • Stinkhout - 2011-03-09 11:13

    So for the last 7 years they lost 8 weapons every single day! Or on a positive note, created 8 jobs per day for the crime business sector.

  • Darwinian - 2011-03-09 11:13

    You can start an army with that! Do we even have 20 429 members in the defense force? I'm sure this is another initiative to arm the masses.....

      Felix - 2011-03-09 11:22

      I'm afraid you may be correct... terrorists livin here in the not so United SA.

  • braamc - 2011-03-09 11:13

    Competent aren't they?

  • JuluisMalema - 2011-03-09 11:13

    O and what did they say about it. " How hoo haa hee jo na we Eish we are so sorry". They are corrupt police officers fire them. People got scared for the cut of date of the license's for their weapons they saw they were not going to make it and hand it in at their local police station, thinking it is safe, then the officers take these weapons and say they went missing, then they sell the weapons and put them back on the streets illeagally. And that is why the crime rate is so high police officers, goverment the whole justice system is corrupt. I mean there is no more place for criminals in jails, what do they do? Yes put the criminals back on the streets. And sell weapons also sommer to them. That is how South Africa is going on. Then Goverment officials will hold a speech and say "nnnghe so then but now infact esspecially because you see the crime thing she is no problem in South Africa no, but how eish jo na wee hoo haa hee e-e-e-e this Lightning thing she is a very big problem e-e-e-e-e eish bana we should investigate this lighning thing the bloody agent, lightning she is white ne so it has racial tendansies and only kill black people." Now that is the education of our current parliament the one's not even passed matric nor grade 10 even, but these clowns wants to ran a whole nation. Please stop clowning around and make Helen Zille or Steve Hofmyer presedent.

  • Fred - 2011-03-09 11:19

    Haha! This is what replacing brainpower, experience and knowledge with this stupid BEE boils down to. Just a pity the clowns in charge can't read, so they will not even read this article or any comments.

  • CheekySod - 2011-03-09 11:20

    According to the website, there are 190199 members of the police force. With 20 429 weapons "lost" it amounts to 10.74% lost weapons. Simply unacceptable.

      jiamalunga - 2011-03-09 11:30

      Hi your maths is counter revolutionary

      CheekySod - 2011-03-09 11:46

      That depends where you stand.

  • Bennie - 2011-03-09 11:20

    and then the are giving me sh*& about weapons that I ahve safely lloked after for 30 years ????

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-03-09 11:21

    Pity, it's not so easy to lose that beer belly & fat backside...

  • Dazza22 - 2011-03-09 11:21

    Err they didn't lose them, it was more like hau, nobody told me I must not lose my gun and use it to murder, rob, rape and hijack......

  • Sisie - 2011-03-09 11:22

    They not missing - the cops just sold them to the criminals.

  • gobetween - 2011-03-09 11:22

    Ah, 20 429 illegal firearms on our streets. Comforting thought. Someone made a pretty profit.

  • jiamalunga - 2011-03-09 11:23

    Why must we comply with the CFR? WHY! When it becomes clearer everyday that this government is trying to Disarm us to stop the same situation oneday that Libya is finding themselves in.

  • Alfred - 2011-03-09 11:28

    Who needs criminals when you've got the SAPS? The only way they can stop crime is if they outperform the criminals and put them out of business.

  • Willem de Haan - 2011-03-09 11:29

    As she says - it is indeed worrying! It worries me a lot - especially when heavily armed housebreakers attack law abiding citizens in their own backyard - and "no arrests were made". The question is - what is being done to stop the general and me from worrying more? I believe nothing - now, that is indeed worrying!

  • ji - 2011-03-09 11:29

    LOST , I don`t think so ...... SOLD , yes that I can believe .

  • Mr Hobbit - 2011-03-09 11:32

    It's the THIRD FORCE! They prowl the empty streets at night, in fast cars, on foot, they are the men of... the third force! General Cele, leave no stone unturned, bring the full might of the Law to bear upon these criminals.... oops, sorry - they are YOUR men! You said there are more than ten thousand convicted criminal policemen behind bars, now there are more than 20 000 firearms missing. You, Sir, have LOST THE PLOT.

  • bill - 2011-03-09 11:40

    Thats a net 16 000 guns in the hands of criminals other than the police.What a country.The Anc is inferior and not fit to govern.

  • Andre - 2011-03-09 11:45

    Police officers lose their firearms on a daily basis, I wonder how many “gave” it away to their violent criminal buddies? I have legally applied for my firearm license more than two years ago, and still no word when I will get it…. Maybe I must buy a “legal” firearm from a corrupt police officer? What the hell, why don’t we all just purchase illegal firearms, it does not make a difference to the police in any case! Viva ANC Chaos! Viva Incompetent SAPS!

      colin - 2011-03-09 12:34

      You're right, why worry about a licence at all. In SA a crisp new fifty gets you out of any problem with the law. You and me may not do it, but "everyone else" does.

  • Bartosz - 2011-03-09 11:46

    I lose my shoes on a daily basis!!!!!!

      Faansie - 2011-03-09 11:54

      He He

  • Faansie - 2011-03-09 11:47

    Not so many moons ago, this very same issue was raised in parlement. At that time the figure was around 8000 guns 'lost'. It now seems to me that since then, the situation actually became worst. So nobody cares. The top brass wipe their arses on the problem. Maybe they dont want to be bothered with such trivia.

      2c - 2011-03-09 16:37

      I remember the issue then. Now it has tripled in a few months. Someone was lying about the statistics. Next month it will be 40 000 guns missing. What happend? Nothing was done then, and nothing will be done now.

  • SamuelMabena - 2011-03-09 11:47

    If this is the 'ability' of the ruling ANC to govern our country's police force, then it's time for the ANC to go !!! I will not be voting for this corrupt and INCOMPETENT ANC regime any longer !!!

  • generaalcharlie - 2011-03-09 11:50

    A dog gets lost , A fire arm gets sold on the black market !!!

      Andy49 - 2011-03-09 18:16

      therefore a lost dog with a firearm must be a Poolezman!

  • willow - 2011-03-09 11:51

    Seems misplacing things is a national pass time - like the number of children that get abandoned on our beaches every year - noticed that the goverment stopped releasing those stats a while ago. ROFL

  • Douglas Hendry - 2011-03-09 11:52

    I am coming home, to retire, in SA, next year, and thought about getting a gun licence and buying a handgun from a legit company. I am told that this is a tortuous and interminable process, so perhaps I should just buy one from a local policeman?

      AJ - 2011-03-09 11:58

      Going the legal route to gain a firearm or doing a handstand and walking back from abroad on your palms are, I would surmise, equivalent in difficulty (and would probably take the same amount of time)...

  • steven.romain - 2011-03-09 11:53


  • n s - 2011-03-09 11:54

    don't know if lost the correct word, stolen might be more appropriate. Crime affects everyone, but there's one consistent factor here...

  • Radie Loubser - 2011-03-09 11:56

    What a disgrace, they take the weapons from citizens, with licences, and then they lose them, what a corrupt bunch, criminals!

  • ReneeJKruger - 2011-03-09 12:03

    "I am convinced that many murders are committed with police weapons." Of course they are! And by the police themselves. What better excuse for losing your weapon than it can get you caught?

  • rodneykdc - 2011-03-09 12:06

    What a comforting bit of info!!! Makes me want to hug the first SAPS member I can find

  • Greegs - 2011-03-09 12:09

    And they want pay and benefit increases? Police and prison force are a joke. I need to ask the question... is it because they're mostly black?

      rodneykdc - 2011-03-09 12:15

      You can't ask that or you'll be labelled a Formula 1 racisct!!

  • tut - 2011-03-09 12:11

    These same weapons have been used to murder white farmers. What a shame man!

  • kingswing69 - 2011-03-09 12:13

    thats just beautiful great job SAP JUST HAND WEAPONS OVER TO THE CRIMINALS the funny thing is , how many criminals are in the SAP

      generaalcharlie - 2011-03-09 12:31

      80 % of them are criminals , What do you expect in a country where the president is alsio a criminal ?

  • Blah-blah - 2011-03-09 12:21

    So the good citizens are handing over their weapons en masse so that it may be sold to the highest bidders (criminals) by the people who are supposed to protect us! Interesting pension plan boys-in-blue - but what are the rest of us supposed to do now - we are without any form of protection. Because clearly, you just don't give a pigs trotter...

  • rodneykdc - 2011-03-09 12:22

    Why do apparently intelligent people hand over firarms in working order to people of questionable integrity.I handed all my fireams in sure!!!They were damaged , bent and buckled to the extent that NOBODY could use for anything but metal recycling.