Rifles stolen from VIP protection unit

2012-04-16 11:39

Johannesburg - The air force has launched a commission of inquiry after four R5 assault rifles were stolen from a safe at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

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

  • customdesign - 2012-04-16 11:46

    They are worried about 4 here when 100s were stolen from the Pretoria airforce base a few years ago.

      John - 2012-04-16 12:27

      they are not stolen just rented out.

      Sean - 2012-04-16 14:10

      Or transfered to the Farmer Eradication Unit of the ANC.

  • rowan.maulson - 2012-04-16 11:56

    Wait... so even showerheads little VIP detail can't keep track of the R5's that have been assigned to them? I would also love to know how the HELL they got out of that area with the weapons... you don't leave that area without being on camera or having your vehicle thoroughly searched

      Nosiphom - 2012-04-16 12:17

      Just shows the laxity of security everywhere you go.

  • Buhle - 2012-04-16 12:03

    I think they were sold to fund Zuma's wedding (Joking)

      stoute.babuseng - 2012-04-16 12:07

      lol nice one buhle

      Nigel - 2012-04-16 12:47


      Rob - 2012-04-16 15:47

      @chriswhite. You really are a tw@t !

  • mholthuysen - 2012-04-16 12:05

    The circus we call our country now - corrupt and thieving leaders; corrupt and thieving police; corrupt and thieving departments... and the anc slogan comes to mind yet again - "Together we can do more" - just what... ?

      Roy - 2012-04-16 13:52

      Steal more and get away with it.

  • Clive - 2012-04-16 12:13

    Disarm the citizenry, my goodsness. Government should look at their own vaults to see where the criminals are getting their weapons from. Disarm the military and the police - they're of no use anyway!

      Gieljam - 2012-04-16 13:10

      Spot on Clive (didn't know you had access to the internet ..just joking)

      Craig - 2012-04-16 14:31

      So true Clive!!! Hows a comment from Gun Free SA? Of course not, GFSA won't tangle themselves up in this sort of affair...

  • Dave - 2012-04-16 12:13

    This country is a joke. Take away guns from the legal gun owners ?????

  • anthro45 - 2012-04-16 12:14

    So in other words, the safe was locked again. Obviously an inside job. 4 R5's to protect Zooma's plane? ha ha ha

      Nosiphom - 2012-04-16 12:19

      He knows no-one would waste bullets on him anyway!

      mholthuysen - 2012-04-16 12:22

      .. best say planes... after all he is the only head of state in the world that needs multiple planes when he zooms off to his trips....

  • michel.pieterse - 2012-04-16 12:20

    Perhaps its time to go and buy that winter coat..

  • Elize - 2012-04-16 12:22

    I would be very worried Mr president if I was you, seems SA is not so safe after all!!

  • nardusc - 2012-04-16 12:25

    It is such a refection of the NEW SA society that we live in Police Chiefs going to jail, Police hiring pvt security companies to protect their Police Stations and the "Defense Force" ....well need I say more??

  • Sobholenyoni - 2012-04-16 12:37

    Dont worry these will soon be back after shooting down some few innocent souls. They were rented out! Times are tough and the financial global crisis is not helping at all. Talk about making extra cash heehheee

  • Cpo - 2012-04-16 12:50

    Seriously these guys are better be joking,how does one steal FIREARMS, wrong wording they were not stolen they were taken by someone who works for the air force period>>

  • Frans - 2012-04-16 12:57

    Am I correct in saying the safe was not checked between 7 and 9 March? That in my opinion is unacceptable. Didn't the guards change shifts?

  • Gieljam - 2012-04-16 13:00

    A National tragedy and International disgrace . Incompetent system.

  • Pedrosa - 2012-04-16 13:17

    We now know that \this country is not save\refer to the previous article \this country is save\ your comment last week.the weapons from your VIP protection unit have been stolen for some time now,probably you were not aware before you tell the nation,how save your country is.the question is what are you saying mr Zuma if the very same people who are suppose to protect you are cannot be trusted.weapons have been stolen from airforce base where safety should been first priority.furthermore in Waterkloof suburb,where your wife and some diplomats are staying,security is being upgraded.once again the phrase\this country is save\has become a contradiction in terms.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-04-16 13:18

    Thank goodness we no longer have nukes. There's little wonder in where one of them might have ended up in this corrupt, poorly administered and crime riddled beloved country of ours.

      Ze Don - 2012-04-16 13:37

      Now you know why the UN insisted that our nuclear arsenal be destroyed BEFORE handover in '94

      veritas.odium.paret - 2012-04-16 14:08

      It's not even terrorist groups I'd be worried about. Just the possibility that some idiot tsotsis could get their hands on one with the intention of blowing up an ATM with it. They have a tendency of acquiring even things that are too advanced for them in this country!

  • roberta.keeling - 2012-04-16 13:18

    They can't even protect their own weapons =- how are they going to protect V.I.P.'s? Hahahaha

  • Given Von Baloyi - 2012-04-16 13:23

    I bet those riffles are at some right winger's farm somewhere in Pretoria or Houtspruit. We know those deranged right wing "boere-lag" are arming themselves with SANDF arms, for a coup disguising as Farm protection "commandos"

      Genet - 2012-04-16 14:04


      JohhnyBGood - 2012-04-16 14:32

      WTF did YOU smoke?

      Rob - 2012-04-16 15:45

      Given no brains !

  • Roy - 2012-04-16 13:50

    Guns are stolen from the Police,the Army,the Air Force and used to do crime. South Africans are denied access to firearms to protect themselves because the SAPS etc cannot do so. All the "stealing" of weapons are inside jobs.

  • Plato Pravda - 2012-04-16 13:59

    @Given Von Baloyi. Surely you are just jesting when you posted your comment. And if you weren't, then I am afraid you are one myopic and blind individual, living in perpetual denial to the amount of crime and corruption being committed on a daily basis.

      Given Von Baloyi - 2012-04-16 17:11

      Fact remains there are right wing groupings including boere mag(lag) and some farmers who has been found with arms cache some of which has disappeared from the defense force. That's a reality as much as crime and graff are a reality

  • Senzo Mathebula - 2012-04-16 14:26

    Isn't this supposed to b classified information... Publishing this harms the security of our president.

  • Mazimba - 2012-04-16 14:29

    Why steal R5 rifles? Lazy criminals! I'm sure they can be found at any local 5 Rand shop!!

  • CliveK - 2012-04-16 14:34

    What do you mean stolen? They were sold for a few bucks.

  • WigzellRM - 2012-04-16 14:35

    Who was in charge?

  • Ant138 - 2012-04-16 16:14

    Ha ha..imagine the panic when they discovered that the rifles were rifles to secure Zuma's incoming flight. Wonder what they made do with..knobkieries?

  • bnnyoni - 2012-04-16 16:32

    guards are just keeping the guns mayb planing to rob cash van because there pay them peanuts

  • Rob - 2012-04-16 16:39

    Keeping the public safe! Operating an efficient public service! Effectively managing public property! Setting the standards for the future! You get what you voted for!!!!!

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