South Africa 26.3.2014 06:30 am

Police destroy illegal weapons

Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Gauteng police highlighted the destruction of knives yesterday, as this type of weapon is being used more frequently in murders in the province.

More than 50 000 knives of all shapes and sizes were destroyed at Arcelor Mittal in Vereeniging yesterday.

Police also destroyed 5 365 firearms, including AK-47s, revolvers, rifles and pistols personalised with various decorations.

Gauteng acting provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Letsija Joel Mothiba said of the over 5 000 firearms destroyed, 4 083 (76%) were confiscated by police, while 1 282 (24%) were voluntarily surrendered.

“The firearms and knives being destroyed were confiscated during police operations over the past 12 months.

A substantial amount of these firearms were seized on information provided by the community,” said Mothiba. “The weapons were melted into iron ore.”

In his State of the Nation address in February, President Jacob Zuma emphasised the importance of the National Crime Prevention Strategy and the progress made thus far.

This included continuous efforts to improve crime prevention and combating responsibilities, along with improved intelligence capacity.

A bag full of magazine cartridges is seen among other weapons, 25 March 2014. Approximately 5000 firearms including AK-47’s as well as 53 000 knives are to be destroyed at Arcelor Metal, Vereeniging. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

A bag full of magazine cartridges is seen among other weapons, 25 March 2014. Approximately 5000 firearms including AK-47’s as well as 53 000 knives are to be destroyed at Arcelor Metal, Vereeniging. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The reduction of illegal firearms remained at the top of Gauteng police’s cluster priorities.

“Concurrent with our efforts to combat organised, serious and violent crimes, our strategy for the improvement of service delivery and the prevention of crime is gaining momentum,” said Mothiba.

Police urged community members to report crime and criminals anonymously to Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or Crime Line by sending an SMS to 32211.

 

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