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Man arrested after discovery of arms cache at Centurion home to appear in court

They were trying to establish whether the suspect was just an arms dealer and collector as he claimed or whether he had malicious intentions.

Police authorities also secured a local firearm shop, which was owned and operated by the suspect during their raid on a house in Centurion, Pretoria on 19 November 2019. Picture: SAPS

TSHWANE - Police detectives are trying to establish the motive behind a Centurion man's collection of dozens of military firearms and ammunition.

They were trying to establish whether the suspect was just an arms dealer and collector as he claimed or whether he had malicious intentions.

Members of the Pretoria and Soshanguve canine units stumbled on the arms cache this week when they responded to a tip-off that the man was dealing in dagga and searched the property.

A sophisticated temperature-controlled greenhouse containing dozens of dagga plants was discovered behind a hidden door.

Among the weapons in the arms cache were rifles all too familiar to South Africans like the AK47. But, also in the arsenal were Soviet-era Dragunov sniper rifles, water-cooled machine guns, and rocket launchers.

Acting Police Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said they were concerned by this discovery.

“This man can start a mini-war if he so wishes. Why do you keep launchers which can shoot helicopters? That’s a war and definitely it’s worrying and we need to understand his intentions,” Motsoaledi said.

The suspect told police he was lawfully in possession of the weapons. He was scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

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