Thursday, January 25, 2024

Cape Flats Safety Forum to protest over stolen firearms at Mitchells Plain SAPS; Organisations react to theft of weapons

The Cape Flats Safety Forum will embark on a protest in Mitchells Plain on Thursday morning, in reaction to weapons stolen from the police station in the area.

This is after news recently broke of a Mitchell’s Plain officer who was arrested in November 2023, for aiding and theft of the weapons.

The weapons were marked as evidence in ongoing criminal cases and the forum says it wants to know why the matter was not made public.

ILLUSTRATION: SAPS


The protest is set to start from 10a.m, at the parking area outside the Mitchell’s Plain SAPS.

‘’We will gather at the parking lot opposite Mitchell’s Plain Police Station between 10a.m and 12 noon,’’ said Lynn Phillips, Cape Flats Safety Forum Secretary.

The forum has made a list of demands they want answers to. These include:

1. Why was this kept under the rap

2. Why was the CPF silent on this matter, they must be dissolved immediately as they not the voice of the community

3. SC and management team to be suspended without pay immediately as a precedent was set in 2017 with the then SC and Management Team and why inconsistency in SAPS

4. As community members we need answers pertaining this matter, as too many of our young people are dying via a gun, and blood flowing our streets daily

5. We want to know who is enabling gangsters to kill

5. We want quarterly lifestyle audit to be done on all  members at MPlain Saps

6. Station to be placed under administration until every firearm has been retrieved

Meanwhile, the Mitchell’s Plain CPF says it is ‘’disgusted and shocked’’, that SAPS did not share the information with them.

Chairperson, Norman Jantjies, says the theft of the firearms will impact community police relations and the community's trust in the men in blue.

‘’The Mitchell's Plain CPF wishes to report that the issue of the missing firearms + other exhibits was only shared with the CPF after we requested an urgent meeting with SAPS Management.  The CPF demanded answers regarding the missing firearms + other exhibits. How and why it happened? Who is responsible? How can this be prevented in the future? We were advised that the exhibits [including the firearms + ammunition] were booked out by investigating officers to be taken to forensics for analysis. These exhibits, however, did not arrive at the Police laboratory.’’

‘’This investigation is still ongoing, and we expect heads to roll. The CPF is shocked by this occurrence as some of these exhibits are linked to serious/gang related crimes. The missing exhibits might lead to criminals getting off the hook and thereby continue with their criminal behavior and continue to traumatise the community. This theft will also impact community police relations and the community's trust in the police.’’

‘’We want to once again stress our disgust and shock at this occurrence and by SAPS not sharing the information with the CPF. We expect a thorough investigation, to ensure that justice prevails. We expect the guilty party or parties to be sentenced to imprisonment to make sure that this type of conduct is never repeated,’’ added Norman Jantjies, Mitchell’s Plain CPF Chairperson.

Civil Rights group, Action Society, alleges that SAPS are the biggest supplier of illicit guns in the country.

‘’They are providing these weapons to the largest criminal networks in South Africa and they are complicit in the murders of innocent South Africans. This is not an isolated event, but a well-documented fact that the police are in an arms trade with local gangs. Between 2005 and 2017 (12 years) SAPS lost, had stolen from, or simply could not account for 26 025 guns issued to police officers. This was reported as 18 169 guns between 2005 and 2011, and 7829 between 2009 and 2014,’’ said Ian Cameron, Action Society Director.

“This is especially concerning in a place like Mitchells Plain where gang related violence is rampant and is only becoming worse. Mitchell’s Plain is a gangster’s paradise, and we will never win the war while criminal police members are such an integral part of the problem. With that said, we salute the good cops for doing their jobs and hanging in there, despite the rotten apples around them” added Cameron.

Human Rights activist, and founder of NGO Philisa Abazi Bethu, says firearms stolen from a police station is of most concern.

‘’Are we Paying Attention!!! Guns stolen from a Police station, every time one of those Bullets leaves those Guns it will Kill one of the Civilians, Women, Children, Young People, Men, Older person’s innocents who do you Blame.... The person who didn't check the fire arms, and created an opportunity, to earn money.......the Leadership of that Station who is ultimately responsible for those firearms, the Person/s who stole it, the person who sold it, the one who Bought it, or the One who is now using the Guns to kill, or those who kept it Quiet from the Community,’’

‘’So when does the Accountability Starts, the Community wasn't told, thank you to the Journalist who is on it, it's out in the Open. Has the Guns been found as of yet...when does the Accounting starts.... And the Killing Continues........How many of this Guns have Killed so far.... Are we Paying Attention!!!!!! Guns stolen from a Police station!!!’’ added Evans.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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