The suspect Gugu Boy Elias Mnisi, (67) appeared in the Chief Albert Luthuli Magistrate’s Court Friday January 19 after being arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms with ammunition as well as for contravention of the Firearm Act of South Africa. He was granted an R6000 bail and the case was postponed to April 10.
Mnisi, was arrested by the multidisciplinary team consisting of members from Mpumalanga Provincial Organized Crime, Criminal Record Centre, Provincial Designated Firearms Officers, Elukwatini Detectives and VISPOL, as well as officials from Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).
According to a provincial spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli, the law enforcement agency received information regarding a lot of firearms which were somehow stored by an old man house at Elukwatini. Further details indicated that the man was in some way part of a certain security company but was suspected to be non-compliant.
“The team is said to have coordinated their resources then came up with a plan to check if he is compliant to the PSIRA regulations. As a result, the team paid him a visit at Elukwatini on Thursday afternoon, January 18.
“A search warrant was obtained and upon arrival at the premises as per information provided, the law enforcement agencies found their target and they began to do what they went there for. While conducting a search they discovered a total of about 106 firearms as well as 1704 ammunition. Amongst the weapons found in the house are 14 rifles, eight (08) shot guns, 84 pistols with ammunition, 9 mm pistols to a total of 718, about 921 ammunition for a rifle, and 65 ammunition for a shotgun,” explain Mdhluli.
He added that the firearms were not kept inside a safe but rather stored underneath a bed whilst some were kept inside the wardrobe. The police also discovered that licences for some of the firearms, which could be owned by a certain security company had already expired. The male suspect could not account for about 20 firearms.
“In addition, the team members established that he did not have licences for four pistols, which had ammunition hence he was arrested and charged accordingly. Part of the probe is to understand how he got hold of these firearms. Police are adamant that there could be more into the story than the huge discovery that was made however that will form part and parcel of the work that should be done by the investigators.
Al the firearms as well as ammunition were confiscated for further investigation, and all the confiscated firearms will undergo ballistic testing to determine whether they were not previously used in the commission of crime elsewhere.
At this stage, Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding extra charges against the suspect as the investigation continues, in relation to contravention of the Firearms Control Act.