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.