Nearly 33 000 rounds of ammunition stolen or lost in Defence Force in two years

2015-10-15
Dr Pieter Groenewald

The minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has confirmed in writing that 32 956 rounds of ammunition have been lost or stolen in the Defence Force over the past two years (2013/14 and 2014/15). In the same period eighteen firearms, of which ten are 9 mm pistols, two 303 hunting rifles and six R4 assault rifles were stolen or got lost. This was revealed in a reply to a question in Parliament of Dr. Pieter Groenewald (MP) of the Freedom Front Plus.

“The large amount of ammunition is extremely worrying and the minister will have to explain how it is possible that so many rounds were stolen or were lost. What is more, it is 9 mm and 5.56 mm ammunition which are used in pistols and R4 assault rifles. It is this type of weapons which are used in particular in transit robberies and now also at shopping malls and even farm attacks,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald (MP), chief spokesperson on Defence for the Freedom Front Plus says.

“This situation is clearly proof of poor management, control and discipline in the Defence Force and there will have to be quick action taken. I will definitely be asking follow-up questions to the minister for further explanation,” Groenewald said.

 

Contact no.: 083 627 4397 / 082 419 5403

Question and answer:

3344. Dr P J Groenewald (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans:†

(1) How many fire arms of each (a) kind and (b) calibre of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) have been (i) stolen and (ii) lost during the period (aa) 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 and (bb) 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015;

(2) how much ammunition of each (a) kind and (b) calibre of the SANDF has been (i) stolen and (ii) lost during the period (aa) 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 and (bb) 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015;

(3) whether any prosecutions and disciplinary actions were instituted; if not, why not; if so, (a) against how many persons and (b) what did such actions entail, in each case;

(4) whether she will make a statement on the matter? NW4001E

RESPONSE

Stolen over the period 2013/14: 5 weapons

Lost over the period 2013/14: 3 weapons

Stolen over the period 2014/15: 8 weapons

Lost over the period 2014/15: 2 weapons

Total of 18 weapons were reported to Military Police Division:

(i) 8 x Z88 9 mm pistol

(ii) 1 x Star 9mm pistol

(iii) 1 x Baretta 9 mm pistol

(iv) 2 x 303 hunting rifle

(v) 6 x R4 rifles

(2) Ammunition lost or stolen over period 2013/14: 32 956 rounds

Ammunition lost or stolen over period 2014/15: 19 rounds

Types of ammunition: 9 mm sharp point; 5.56 mm and R4 rifle ammunition

(3) 12 people have been charged

(i) 1 x 9mm Z88 pistol stolen from Northern Military Police Region Head Quarters Duty room on 23/11/14.
Weapon was recovered by Special Investigation Branch two weeks after it was stolen. Suspect was arrested and charged and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

(ii) 1 x 9mm Z88 pistol with 30 rounds of ammunition was stolen on 28/08/13:
Suspect was charged and disciplinary action instituted. Outcome of criminal prosecution still awaited.

(iii) 1 x Z88 9 mm pistol lost on 16/12/13
Military Police investigating the case

(iv) 1 x R4 rifle without ammunition was stolen on 08/11/13
Weapon was recovered but the docket is still at LEGSATO for a decision

(v) 3 x R4 rifles, 1 x 9mm Star pistol and 1 x 9 mm Z88 pistol without ammunition was stolen on 11/06/14
The case is at LEGSATO for a decision

(vi) 1 x R4 rifle lost on 31/5/14
Suspect was found guilty and sentenced by Court of Military Judge

(vii) 2 x 3030 rifles were stolen on 11/01/14
The docket is still under investigation and the member was declared unfit to possess a firearm

(viii) 1 x 9mm Z88 pistol was lost on 26/07/13
Suspect found guilty and sentenced to R1500 fine and 180 days detention suspended for 3 years

(ix) 5 x 9mm rounds of ammunition was stolen and found on 30/10/14
Suspect has already been charged and case is proceeding to trial

(x) 1 x Baretta pistol lost on 16/9/13
Case still under investigation

(xi) 32400 x R4 sharp point ammunition stolen on 13/04/13
5 suspects arrested and the trial is ongoing in Lenasia Magistrate Court

(xii) 3 x 9mm Z88 pistols without ammunition stolen on 18/07/14
Case is still under investigation

(xiii) 1 x R4 rifle lost on 23/01/15
Case is still under investigation

(xiv) 556 x 45 mm blank ammunition stolen on 01/03/14
Case docket sent to LEGSATO for a decision

(xv) 14 x cartridges box LMG belt links, Bomb stand attachments and bay stripping spring bellets stolen on 12/02/15
Suspects have been charged and case still under investigation