DURBAN – Police Minister Bheki Cele said law enforcement officers suspected the theft of 19 R4 automatic rifles at the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Lyttelton Tek Base in Pretoria was an inside job.
Cele was speaking to the media in Durban on Thursday during his countrywide safer festive season inspection tour.
The weapons were stolen on Monday and 11 people have since been taking in for questioning.
Minister Cele said investigations were underway following the weapons’ theft and they suspect people who work at the facility were behind the crime.
“Speaking to the minister of defence about two days ago, it looks like we all have one suspicion that somebody from inside the establishment knows better.”
Cele also touched on the deaths of 25 initiates countrywide.
He said it was a national crisis and called on those with information to come forward so that those responsible for the deaths could be arrested.
“You can’t allow women to carry these kids for nine months and in six days, you kill those young people.”
Cele heads to Cape Town on Friday to continue his safer festive season tour.
Police ministry’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said Cele was expected to inspect police operations and multi-disciplinary roadblocks in the Cape.
“He is expected to visit malls, bus terminals, vehicle checkpoints, taxi ranks and these inspections are to ensure that the SAPS is keeping in line with its core to turn the tide against crime.”