WATCH | Police destroy more than 35 000 guns confiscated or handed over

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  • 35 069 firearms were destroyed in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, by police on Thursday.
  • The firearms were either confiscated, forfeited to the State, or voluntarily surrendered.
  • A total of 40 729 firearms and 199 573 rounds of ammunition have been surrendered so far during the amnesty period which ends on Sunday.

The police on Thursday destroyed 35 069 firearms that were either confiscated, forfeited to the State, or were voluntarily handed over during the firearm amnesty period that ends on Sunday.

The destruction was overseen by the Divisional Commissioner of Operational Response Services Lieutenant- General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi at Cape Gate Wire and Steel Manufactures in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng. 

"The proliferation of illegal firearms has therefore been dealt a decisive blow with cooperation from the public as a total of 9 918 of the destroyed firearms were voluntarily surrendered during the 2019/2020 firearm amnesty period - 1 December 2019 to 31 May 2020. Only 2019/2020 amnesty firearms that have been ABIS tested, not linked to a pending firearm application or criminal investigation were included for destruction," said national police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili.

READ | Spy boss claims SSA gave firearms, ammunition to 'non-members'

The rest of the firearms were confiscated by police during various operations.

"Daily, SAPS members on patrol are bravely stopping and searching suspicious vehicles looking for contraband and illegal firearms. Therefore, reducing the number of illegal firearms in circulation continues to be one of the police's priorities. Melting these firearms therefore ensures that these firearms will never find their way back in circulation," said Muridili.

A total of 40 729 firearms and 199 573 rounds of ammunition have been surrendered so far during the amenity period which ends on Sunday. 

"Individuals and institutions in possession of illegal, obsolete and redundant firearms or parts thereof are encouraged to use the remaining three days to surrender them without fear of prosecution for illegal possession," said Muridili.

Muridili also urged those who inherit guns from deceased relatives to handle them in line with the law.

"The Act provides that in case of death, the family/executor must dispose of the firearm by deactivating it through a gunsmith, selling it to an accredited firearm dealer or individual or voluntarily surrendering it to SAPS for destruction," she said.

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