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2024/01/08      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mokgwabone   |   Province:  North West

POTCHESTROOM: 7 January 2024 - Enforcement of the Firearms Control Act, 2000, in line with one of the focus areas of the Safer Festive Season Operation Shanela, gained success when the Klerksdorp Tactical Response Team (TRT), BIU Security and Swartruggens police arrested suspects and recovered four firearms in separate incidents on Thursday, 4 and Friday, 5 January 2024.

In Potchefstroom, on Friday morning, 05 January 2024, Klerksdorp TRT and BIU Security officers received and operationalised information regarding a suspect who was in possession of firearms in Extension 3, Ikageng Location. The team went to the identified place for a search. Upon being asked if there was something he needed to declare before the search, the suspect informed the police that there were guns underneath the bed. As a result, the bed was lifted and three rifles fell to the ground.

The suspect was then arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms and 72 different ammunition. The operation also led to apprehension of the suspect’s friend in connection with burglary business they allegedly committed at a bar in Ikageng.  Further investigation linked the firearms with a break-in committed last month in Potchefstroom.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Potchefstroom Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 8 January 2024, for unlawful possession of firearm and burglary business respectively.

In Swartruggens, the police got a tip-off and followed up on Wednesday, 3 January 2024, regarding a man who was in possession of a firearm. The suspect was eventually questioned and took the police to his friend in Extension 4, Borolelo Location. The suspect’s friend took the police to a neighbour’s place where a 9mm pistol with magazine, was found under the tree.  The suspect was arrested and successfully linked with a burglary committed on Saturday, 23 December 2023, in Swartruggens. He appeared before the local Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 5 January 2024, for unlawful possession of firearm and burglary residential.  The case was postponed until Wednesday, 10 January 2024. The accused; Kgotlaetsile Selebogo (22) remains in custody.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena thanked all members involved including security officers for swift and collaborative efforts to remove the firearms from the wrong hands.