Call for investigation after almost 160 firearms lost at Johannesburg police station

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Tina Joemat-Pettersson has lambasted police management over the loss of firearms.
Tina Joemat-Pettersson has lambasted police management over the loss of firearms.
Adrian de Kock, Netwerk24
  • Almost 160 firearms have been lost at a Johannesburg police station.
  • Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police has called for an investigation into the lost firearms.
  • The committee also called for urgent intervention into the police's administration of firearms.

Almost 160 firearms have been lost at the Norwood police station in Johannesburg, causing Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson to call for immediate action.

On Monday, Joemat-Pettersson called for urgent strategies to fix challenges facing the South African Police Service at its SAPS 13 stores. She also called for immediate disciplinary measures against any police officers found to have been involved in the loss of the firearms.

READ | Guns for hire: Mapping the source of South Africa's deadly illicit firearm trade

The committee has vowed that the station management will be investigated for dereliction of duty.

"While the reports of the 158 firearms stolen from the Norwood station are a huge concern, especially as some of those firearms were used for criminal acts, the committee is concerned about the broader implication of challenges facing a number of SAPS 13 stores around the country," said Joemat-Pettersson.

She said the monitoring and oversight of these police stores were critical control measures that must be strengthened. In cases of breaches or dereliction of duty, officers must be held accountable throughout the chain of command, she said.

Since its inception, the committee has emphasised its unhappiness with lax consequence management within the SAPS hierarchy, said Joemat-Pettersson.

Joemat-Pettersson said:

Poor management and accountability of SAPS stores create the opportunity for corruption and the sale of firearms to criminal elements.

"These corrupt police officers must be removed from the service to ensure the credibility of SAPS is retained and maintained," she added.

The committee also called for the modernisation of the Central Firearms Registry (CFR) and raised concerns over SAPS' overall administration of firearms. A dysfunctional CRF hampered the removal of illegal firearms from the streets, said Joemat-Pettersson.

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