Stolen grenades not very dangerous: CEO

2012-07-04 20:32

Johannesburg - The theft of 70 military hand grenades at Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, was confirmed by the manufacturer on Tuesday.

Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) said the grenades were taken from a company vehicle at a filling station on the N1 early in the morning.

"From what we understand, the driver was at the station when he saw several assailants robbing a truck in front of him," RDM CEO Norbert Schulze said.

"After robbing that truck, those assailants then came to them [the driver and his assistant] and forcefully gained entry in the security-tight bakkie. They then fled with the goods."

The thieves made off with three crates, each containing 35 grenades. Police found one of the crates in a nearby field.

The unmarked vehicle had been making its way from the Western Cape to the Wallmansthal Military Base, north of Pretoria.

Schulze said the missing military grenades were not as dangerous as conventional hand grenades.

"These [pyrotechnic] grenades simply illuminate when ignited and do not cause explosions like other grenades."

The worst it could do was burn someone who did not handle the grenade correctly. RDM said it was working with police and military officials in an attempt to recover the stolen goods.

Police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini could not immediately comment.

  • sharmay.thuynsma - 2012-07-04 20:44

    Guess we are going to see some brightly lit ATM's and some burnt robbers lying around screaming...

      Sharmay - 2012-07-04 22:01

      Hehe.. I think I'd actually pay money to see that.

      mo.matt.14 - 2012-07-05 07:45

      One can only hope

      Preshen - 2012-07-05 08:35

      I'd catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)

      al.chemist.7106 - 2012-07-05 09:11

      I can just see someone in Alex, dancing to kwaito, using the grenades as glow sticks

      Vicker - 2012-07-05 16:12

      First report was that the driver and his co-driver were "resting" (African-speak for sleeping), and the crates were removed from the back of their bakkie by cutting the chains securing them (how would the thieves know to bring along a bolt-cutter or similar?). Also half of the pineapples were HE shrapnel-type (M26's?) and the balance were practise rounds. Now what is the truth really?

  • scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 20:47

    Oh, well that's ok then - let's just forget about deriliction of duty. Doesn't matter whether they were in charge of a Smoke Grenade or a Hydrogen Bomb - they failed to carry out their duty and should be Court Martialled.

      Squeegee - 2012-07-04 21:09

      Private company not army.

      en.gineer.359 - 2012-07-04 21:11

      Guess you missed the part which states the grenades where stolen off a private/company vehicle. Meaning those were employees of Denel, civilian not military.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 21:23

      Whoops - quite right. My bad but either way ....

      Jellyarse - 2012-07-04 22:06

      No, you guys got it all wrong, the Empowerment Program means that Denel (Governement owned) had to put this out to Tender and it was awarded to Tsepo's Security Services - A Toyota Hi-ace without a windscreen or window winders - they just reached in a grabbed them!

      alf.pop - 2012-07-05 09:56

      Typical South African disease: Denial. the grenades are not dangerous! Until somebody gets blown up! An AK 47 without ammo is also not dangerous, but that changes once it is loaded! How much did the driver and his assitant make from the deal?

  • Stuart - 2012-07-04 20:54

    A disinformation strategy perhaps to keep the public calm while they try and find these crooks with fully functional grenades?

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 21:02

      That would imply some kind of thought process - a non starter when you are dealing with people who can loose three crates of grenades. Mind you, the crates are more useful than the grenades - most of my tools are stored in them....

      Squeegee - 2012-07-04 21:11

      scouter - we are talking about the CEO of Denel. If more of an explanation is needed them you are the idiot.

      clive.brink - 2012-07-04 21:23

      Rheinmetal is affilliated to Denel. A private company in Cape Town, Schulze is the CEO of Rheinmetal not Denel.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 21:27

      I've never lost three crates of grenades - have you squeegee?

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 21:29

      PS - your theory would make a nice plot for a crime novel btw.

  • clive.brink - 2012-07-04 21:19

    And pigs flew on the 4th of July! What an idiotic statement Mr Schulze! The grenades were not dangerous, only pyrotechnic. LOL! If they arent dangerous (which I dont believe) imagine how much fun robbers and hijackers are going to have with them. If I am not mistaken there are some laws and very strict protocols to be followed when transporting explosives, surely Rheinmetal transgressed some of these?

      Charmaine Sanic - 2012-07-04 23:07

      Clive for peet sake, they are used to light up a area in the dark and they don't explode. you pull the pin and through it where you need light. if not handled right it will burn you. The grenade is brown in colour with a white line around the tube. and it is a bout 15cm long. explosives has a red strip around it and the lever is shaped differently.

      clive.brink - 2012-07-05 06:51

      No Ma'm, thats absolute nonsense.Each one to his trade. Grenades are not used for illumination. Flares and mortar bombs are. In no hostile or friendly dangerous fighting situation/confrontation will you want to liaght up an area so close to you. Remember, what you will be able to see the enemy will also - including you. After being "thrown" the grenade can land upside down illuminating nothing. This is spin and nonsense so that the public not be alarmed that 3 cases of real explosive hand grenades were stolen. Even if "illuminating hand grenades" existed do you think bank teller will be able to tell the difference. Please wake up and smell the nich rich true flavour of the coffee!

  • michael.deyzel.1 - 2012-07-04 21:32

    Is Denel now supplying Toys r Us?

  • ditoare.gypsy - 2012-07-04 21:41

    Lol grenades are not very dangerous, they will only amputate your hands

      badballie - 2012-07-05 10:52

      Which part of them being illumination grenades didn't you understand? And Clive, I don't know when you left the military but boet, smoke "grenades" and illumination "grenades" have been part of the military's arsenal for years, the photo may be causing confusion though as these pyrotechnic devices do not look anything like conventional grenades, as Charmaine stated the coloring, especially the lines are different colors and the body is cylindrical not egg shaped. As far as I can remember the grenades fires two "balls" of burning phosphorous out the bottom and these "run" along the ground lighting up the area, if they are illumination grenades they are virtually harmless and can and are detonated in the users hand on a regular basis to improve their direction and distance of travel. (as normal the official manual says don't, but the first thing you get taught is how to)

  • marius.roodt.33 - 2012-07-04 21:42

    guess they just wanted to celebrate the 4th of July in style then.... note to cops, check for awesome fireworks display, find culprits.... easy ne?

  • Francois - 2012-07-04 21:56

    Well, if those are phosphorus grenades, then there are going to be more than a few 2nd degree burns around........

      merven.halo - 2012-07-05 08:08

      It can also be used as a detonator for other explosives.

      ronald.stilianou - 2012-07-05 09:55

      I agree Merven- if one is that way inclined one could strip them and very easily manufacture pipe bombs with the internal propellant/HE, plus you will have a top of the range detonator to set your pipe bomb off with......... just thinking...and if one is that way inclined of course.

  • marieta.theron.dejongh - 2012-07-04 22:05

    in the hands of wrong hands it is very dangerous!!

  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-07-04 22:15

    'not very dangerous' ... so can it kill you if it lands at your feet???

      badballie - 2012-07-05 11:04

      No straight answer for this, under normal circumstances no at most it may give you burns on you feet and legs due to the high temperature the phosphorous component burns at, but that should be it, however Murphy's law will apply.

  • adri.conradie.96 - 2012-07-04 22:48

    The grenades are not very dangerous....sounds similar to my girlfriend is not very pregnant

      michael.deyzel.1 - 2012-07-04 22:58

      Yes Adri, but what's your wife gonna say?

      Nicorien Le Roux - 2012-07-05 00:56


  • stefan.v.dupreez - 2012-07-05 07:20

    It may be normal grenades and they just say it is fakes not to spread panic :-?

  • dawiej - 2012-07-05 08:10

    gained entry in the security-tight bakkie. Now that is a ontradiction if i eve saw one. Nice reporting

      badballie - 2012-07-05 11:07

      Why, armor plated cash in transit vehicles suffer the same fate on a regular basis. Without giving anything away the old saying, "where there's a will, there's a relative......I mean way!" applys

  • jim.dickson2 - 2012-07-05 09:31

    Hopefully white phosphorus. That will teach them a lesson if used incorrectly...........

  • harold.parsons.37 - 2012-07-05 10:51

    Sign on vehicle. Keep away this vehicle is loaded with dangerous hand grenades. The key is kept in a safe place by the driver.

  • vanzyld - 2012-07-05 11:36

    I love the logic: at least the weapons stolen were not more dangerous! ROFL. South Africa is a joke.

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-07-05 11:44

    Was my comment removed because of the truth? Incendiary grenades are deadly weapons and there is a rotten fish smell about this story

  • mhla.nombembe - 2012-07-05 12:19

    The worst is when a person comes holding it in his hand tretning to blast your place then its a sure case u will have to surrender all he asks especially u will not know if its an explosive or illuminate ..

  • JournoSergio - 2012-07-05 12:30

    Not as dangerous perhaps, but people they could be used as weapons of intimidation during robberies. How should the unsuspecting person know this is a glorified sparkler?

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