NATIONAL NEWS - The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has strongly warned the public to desist from the tendency of discharging firearms at funerals.
The Commissioner’s comments follows Monday’s court appearance of five men who were arrested at the weekend on allegations of discharging firearms at a funeral in Belfast near Hazyview.
The men appeared in the Mkhuhlu Magistrates Court and were remanded in custody. They will appear in court again on 12 October 2020.
“These suspects are alleged to have caused a stir amongst mourners when they drew firearms and fired shots. Their actions led law abiding citizens to alert authorities about this behaviour which was plainly displayed by a group of five lawless men driving in a blue VW Golf,” said Brigadier Leonard Hlathi.
The Tactical Response Team (TRT) members followed the information with necessary caution and spotted the vehicle parked at one of the local taverns.
TRT members approached the vehicle and searched its occupants. Two unlicensed firearms with ammunition were recovered after which the five were arrested.
“The suspects are facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition as well as discharging firearms in a public space. The police cannot rule out a possibility of adding more charges in relation to the seized firearms as investigators are underway,” the SAPS said.
Meanwhile, General Zuma has strongly condemned the unlawful behaviour displayed by the men.
"We cannot tolerate this irresponsible behaviour which has become like a norm recently where people randomly fire shots at funerals. We are sending a stern warning to those who will in the near future take a cue and emulate the despicable activities done by these arrested men,” he said. -SAnews.gov.za