The South African Police Service (Saps) has announced that it has destroyed more than 15,000 illegal firearms that were confiscated off the streets. This action was taken in response to the alarming use of firearms in criminal activities across the country. Crime statistics for the first quarter of 2023 revealed that firearms were used in 2,629 out of 6,068 reported murders.
The Saps spokesperson, Athlenda Mathe, emphasized that the confiscated firearms underwent ballistic testing before being destroyed. In addition to the 15,000 firearms destroyed, a staggering total of nearly 55,000 illegal firearms were seized by law enforcement agencies in the past year alone. This substantial effort aims to remove these deadly weapons from circulation and reduce their availability to criminals.
A total of 15,700 firearms were destroyed recently in Vanderbijlpark, where they were either seized during crime prevention operations, surrendered voluntarily, or forfeited to the government. As part of the destruction process, the Saps ensured that all firearms were thoroughly tested, and they confirmed that all firearms had been cleared for destruction.