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2023/06/23      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 22 June 2023 - The proliferation of firearms has been a thorn in the skin and police in the province have been working hard to ensure that this is a thing of the past. This is evident through the arrest of a 33-year-old man by TRT members after finding him with a firearm and some ammunition at Thulamahashe near Mhala in the Bushbuckridge area in the early hours of this morning, Thursday 22 June 2023 around 01h45 am. According to the report, information was received by the Mpumalanga Provincial Tactical Response Team (TRT) about a man in possession of an unlicensed firearm with ammunition at Thulamahashe.

The men and women in Blue responded swiftly to the information and cornered the man at a certain house in the area. A search was conducted at the house and it was during that moment when members recovered the firearm with ammunition. He was then arrested as well as charged for possession of unlicensed firearm with ammunition. Preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect could have possibly been involved in a house robbery that took place this month (June 2023) in the area of Mhala.

The firearm will surely undergo ballistic testing to determine whether it was not used in other criminal activities previously committed somewhere else. More charges could possibly be added against the suspect as the probe continues.

The suspect is expected to appear at the Mhala Magistrate's Court in Thulamahashe on Friday, 23 June 24 2023 facing the said charges.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the arrest of the suspect as well the recovery of the firearm. The General reiterated that SAPS will continue to ensure that all unlicensed and illegal firearms are removed from the communities. "The area of greater Bushbuckridge has been giving us sleepless nights and we want to send a stern warning against criminals operating in those areas that we will continue to maintain our presence in these areas whilst stamping the authority of the state.

We also plead with members of the public to keep providing such valuable information about criminal activities or whereabouts of suspects as well as illegal items. We promise to do diligence and act accordingly as we always do. If we continue to work like that, surely crime will be a thing of the past in the province. "said the General.