EFF: Hawks fail­ing in war on gun smug­glers


THE EFF has ac­cused the Hawks of fail­ing to iden­tify and deal with gun smug­gling syn­di­cates in the Western Cape.

The Hawks were up­dat­ing Par­lia­ment on the progress of in­ves­ti­ga­tions into stolen firearms at Bel­lville South and Mitchells Plain po­lice sta­tions, when it told the com­mit­tee that only three out of 33 firearms were re­cov­ered in three months.

EFF MP Phillip Mh­longo said the Hawks were not do­ing enough to en­sure that the guns were re­cov­ered and re­moved from gang­sters.

“The re­port is of great in­signif­i­cance. It doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily ad­dress the ex­is­tence of syn­di­cates that ex­ist within the South African po­lice.

“The re­port is only telling us about things of shal­low lev­els of in­ves­ti­ga­tions when the lives of the peo­ple, es­pe­cially chil­dren, are in dan­ger,” he said.

Other MPs were also not sat­is­fied with the progress of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter. ANC MP Angie Mole­batsi said the slow pace at which the in­ves­ti­ga­tions were be­ing car­ried out was a ma­jor con­cern con­sid­er­ing the num­ber of pis­tols that were still to be re­cov­ered.

In Au­gust 2017, 15 hand­guns were re­ported miss­ing from the Mitchells Plain po­lice sta­tion and a fur­ther 18 ex­hibit firearms were re­ported miss­ing from Bel­lville po­lice sta­tion.

Within three months of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the po­lice only re­cov­ered three firearms.

Act­ing Hawks head Yolisa Matakata told the com­mit­tee that a num­ber of per­son­nel within the iden­ti­fied po­lice sta­tions have been sus­pended and are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

She said they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing gun smug­gling in the prov­ince and sev­eral as­pects of the coun­try’s il­licit firearms trade, in­clud­ing the im­port and ex­port of il­le­gal guns and how th­ese weapons were be­ing used in un­der­world vi­o­lence.

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