The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has strongly warned the public to desist from the tendency of playing with firearms at funerals.
The General uttered yet another warning following a court appearance of five men on 05 October 2020, after their arrest on 4 October on allegations of discharging firearms at a funeral in Belfast near Hazyview.
The suspects are alleged to have caused a stir amongst mourners when they unashamedly drew firearms and fired shots. Their actions led law abiding citizens to alert authorities about their behaviour which was plainly displayed by a group of five lawless men driving in a blue VW Golf.
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The Tactical Response Team members followed the information with necessary caution and spotted the vehicle parked at one of the local taverns.
The TRT members approached the vehicle tactically as well as searched its occupants and recovered two unlicensed firearms with ammunition.
Police immediately arrested the five suspects hence their appearance at the Mkhuhlu Magistrate’s Court.
The villains were remanded in custody until Monday, 12 October 2020, where they are expected to apply for bail.
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 investigations are underway.
General Zuma has in the meantime strongly condemned the alleged unlawful behaviour displayed by the men, let alone at a funeral procession which ordinarily requires a highly dignified manner.
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“We cannot tolerate this odd 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. There are a number of suspects who have been arrested at two other funerals that took place around the areas where the recent suspects were arrested. These arrests are indicative of the fact that the community is tired of the disrespectful behaviour by certain individuals. We will not hesitate to come hard on you and you will surely face the full might of the law,” said General Zuma.