SANDF weapons theft: More arrests expected

Twelve soldiers appeared in court on charges of negligent loss of weapons, theft and housebreaking after 19 R4 automatic rifles were stolen from the army’s arsenal.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said weapons were stolen from its Lyttleton Tek base in Pretoria. Picture: Intelligence Bureau SA/Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said it expected more arrests in the military weapons theft case.

Twelve soldiers appeared in court on charges of negligent loss of weapons, theft and housebreaking after 19 R4 automatic rifles were stolen from the army’s arsenal.

The defence force’s spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said: “They had interviews with more than 40 people and nailed it down to the 12 arrested, but there are more arrests expected.”

The suspects were denied bail on the grounds that they could compromise investigations.

Bryan Plaatjies, a lawyer for eleven of the suspects, has criticised the court’s decision to deny the soldiers bail, saying the investigation will take longer than a week to finalise.

“If you know there are other accused out there then don’t jump the gun and make them wait. They get the worst share. I can tell you all that this investigation won’t be concluded in 7 days.”

The next court date has been set for next Friday.