Four unlicensed firearms recovered and two suspects arrested

NELSPRUIT – Information acquired by Police’s Crime Intelligence ended with positive results as two suspects aged 38 and 34 from Shabalala trust outside Hazyview and Watervaal B outside Siyabuswa were arrested respectively for possession of four unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

In the first incident, Ehlanzeni Crime Intelligence Task Team received information about a 38-year-old suspect who is in possession of unlawful firearm and dagga.

The information was operationalised in partnership with National Intervention Unit whereby the suspect’s house was visited yesterday Tuesday 21 February 2023 at about 11:00.

Police conducted a search whereby a handgun with nine live rounds was recovered. In addition to the firearm, a black plastic bag containing 3.340 kg of dagga was recovered worth an estimation street value of R7 000-00.

The suspect was arrested for possession of firearm and ammunition as well as dealing in dagga.

The suspect is expected to make his first court appearance at Masoyi Magistrate’s Court today.

In a separate incident, a 34-year-old Patrick Kraal Mabena was arrested for multiple offences including, possession of three unlicensed firearms and ammunition on Monday 20 February 2023 at about 15:00.

Nkangala Crime Intelligence Task Team gathered information about a suspect believed to be behind attempted arson of one of the SAPS member’s house at Siyabuswa D.

They then operationalised their information which led them to a house at Watervaal B.

The suspect’s room was searched whereby three unlicensed firearms were recovered.

All the recovered firearms had their serial numbers filled off. In addition to the firearms, 30 live rounds for the different firearms were also recovered.

The arrested suspect was also found with the service book of the vehicle that was reportedly hijacked in Kwamhlanga in September 2022.

The hijacked vehicle has since been recovered on 17 February 2023 when the driver was nearly arrested for Stock theft incidents in Dennilton and Groblersdal.

Mabena made a brief appearance at Mdutjane Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Tuesday 21 February 2023. He was remanded in custody as his case was postponed to 1 March 2023.

Further investigation will be conducted to establish circumstances in which the hijacked vehicle’s service book ended up in his possession.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela was overwhelmed by the recovery of the firearms and the arrest of the suspects. “When we say we have to remove all unlicensed firearms from the wrong hands we really mean business,” concluded the General.

Source: South African Police Service