A member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was apprehended after being discovered with a rifle and magazines in Brandwag, Bloemfontein.
The tactical reaction team arrested the 31-year-old suspect, according to Free State police spokesperson Sgt Mahlomola Kareli.
The Park Road tactical response team got intelligence-led information on Wednesday regarding a person in possession of an unlicensed firearm at a block of flats in Brandwag.
“The team quickly acted on the information, which led them to Brandwag Flats in Nelson Mandela Drive. On arrival at one of the units, a male person aged 31 was arrested after police found an antique rifle, a stun grenade, 60 R5 live ammunition pieces, five empty R5 rifle magazines and three empty R1 rifle magazines tucked away under a bag in the bedroom,” said Kareli.
The suspect is scheduled to appear in the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court soon for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The SANDF member’s arrest was hailed and commended by the Department of Defence.
Police received information about a soldier staying in Brandwag who was suspected of stealing rifles and ammunition from Tempe Military Base and selling them to the public, according to department spokeswoman Siphiwe Dlamini.
“Upon his arrest, he was charged with possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, possession of a hand grenade as well as possession of an SAPS uniform cap. The items are estimated to be valued at R90,000,” said Dlamini
Chief of the SANDF Gen Rudzani Maphwanya warned no acts of criminality will go unpunished in the SANDF.