A 32-year-old member of the mayoral committee (MMC) in Matjhabeng in the Free State was arrested by members of the Welkom Public Order Police reaction team on Thursday for allegedly being in possession of unlicensed guns and ammunition.
The Matjhabeng Local Municipality is an administrative area in the Lejweleputswa District Municipality, and includes the city of Welkom.
According to provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, the arrest followed intelligence-driven information which led them to the MMC’s home where police found a shotgun, a 9mm pistol and ammunition.
“The search continued to the suspect’s car, which was parked at the house next door. Inside one of his cars, a BMW, six live [rounds of] ammunition were found,” Makhele said.
“While the police were busy outside, the suspect [allegedly] approached two members and gave them a plastic bag containing an undisclosed amount of money, allegedly telling them to [quash] the case as he could not afford to lose his MMC post at the Matjhabeng municipality,” Makhele said.
“The members refused the money and a charge of bribery was added to the two counts of possession of unlicensed firearms and two counts of possession of live ammunition.
“The MMC was arrested with his 34-year-old wife. The BMW and the money were confiscated. The couple will appear in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court in due course.”
Free State police commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane lauded the police officers for their good work.
“Refusing to take a bribe by our members is an indication that we still have loyal and patriotic members,” she said.