By Jonk Wa Mashamba
Three male suspects were arrested by Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) in the Sophiatown Policing Precinct for possession of unlicensed firearms.
On Sunday 20 March 2022 JMPD and Sophiatown SAPS Undercover officers were deployed at Westpark Cemetery for traffic management, monitoring of the Disaster Management Act regulations and the funeral of the late Hector Vintos Buthelezi.
Due to the nature and situation of the funeral, there was shooting inside the cemetery. Undercover officers observed and identified the perpetrators.
Xolani Fihla, spokesperson for Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department said when the procession left the cemetery, officers responded to the information received and pursued the identified vehicles.
Fihla stated that three firearms were retrieved by the officers when the vehicles were stopped and searched. Two of the firearms recovered were unlicensed.
“It was also discovered that the third firearm recovered belongs to Gauteng Traffic Police, and the person found to be in possession did not at that moment have valid documentation allowing him to carry the firearm.
“It is illegal to discharge a firearm in a public place without a lawful reason to do so. Following numerous complaints and meetings regarding the shootings at Westpark Cemetery, a promise was made by all relevant stakeholders that this illegal activity will be dealt with accordingly.
“Residents who become aware of firearms being fired at the cemetery must call 10111 or go to the nearest police station and report the crime,” said Fihla.
All three suspects were detained at Sophiatown SAPS, and a case docket has been opened for further investigation.
The suspects will likely appear at the Sophiatown Magistrates Court on Tuesday 22 March 2022.