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Police arrest suspect in possession of gun linked to Philippi shootings

Over the weekend, law enforcement officials in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain arrested a man for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm.

FILE: Philippi East police in the Western Cape. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police have recovered one of the weapons used in last year's massacre of 11 people at the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi.

City authorities confirmed to Eyewitness News that the firearm was seized during a routine arrest in Mitchells Plain.

Over the weekend, law enforcement officials in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain arrested a man for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The city's Wayne Dyason says that the firearm is linked to the Marikana shootings in Philippi East.

“A suspect residing in Marikana was detained for the illegal possession of a firearm. This firearm was also later linked the recent massacre in Marikana where a number of people were shot.”

The massacre at two separate venues in Marikana made national headlines and prompted the national police minister to request a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployment in the troubled area.

Fikile Mbalula promised boots on the ground by November but there's yet to be any sign of the SANDF either on the ground or preparing to deploy.

Late last year, the Safer Cities report cited the explosion of illegal firearms on the Cape Flats as one of the main driving factors of the persistently high murder rate.

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