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'SAPS is fuelling illegal arms trade'

The DA says there are over 14,000 lost or stolen SAPS firearms in the hands of criminals.

FILE: The DA claims not much is being done about policemen who lose their service pistols. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) claims not much is being done about policemen who lose their service pistols.

It has been reported more than 1,500 police firearms have been lost or reported stolen over the past two financial years, as revealed by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in Parliament.

Only 184 firearms have since been recovered.

The DA's Dianne Kohler-Barnard says, "There's a disciplinary hearing but frankly one doesn't see more than single digit percentages of anyone found guilty of intentionally losing a firearm. Excuses are made."

Kohler-Barnard claims there are far too many South African Police Service (SAPS) firearms that have not been found.

"Today there are over 14,000 lost or stolen SAPS firearms in the hands of criminals and they are replaced as they are lost. In the final analysis, the SAPS is fuelling the illegal arms trade."