Some South African National Defence Force (SANDF) officials fall foul of the law by losing or stealing official firearms and ammunition, and at least one of these weapons has ended up being used during a cash-in-transit heist, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula revealed this week.
She was responding to a parliamentary question by FF Plus leader and MP Pieter Groenewald.
Groenewald wanted more clarity on details she previously gave him last year on how many SANDF weapons and ammunition were lost and/or stolen between April 2015 and September 2017.
In the initial reply last year, it emerged that several pistols and revolvers were lost or stolen in the above period, along with over 14 000 stolen ammunition rounds, two exercise hand grenades and 253 pencil flares.
In her reply on Tuesday, Mapisa-Nqakula also revealed that an R4 rifle was recovered during a cash-in-transit heist, while a pistol and two R4 rifles were later recovered at a suspect’s house.
She did not provide more details on when and where the recoveries had happened.
It was also revealed that five theft cases involving SANDF firearms and ammunition were pending before courts for a decision and trial.
Two cases have been finalised; one person was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in jail or a R30 000 fine, while an SANDF member was discharged from the defence force.
Groenewald asked what measures the defence department were taking to prevent these crimes from happening.
The response was: “During the security cluster meeting, a decision was made that Counter Intelligence must conduct regular inspection on firearms and a guard duty system must be in place.”