The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Tuesday destroyed 30,000 illegal guns, most of which were seized during intelligence-driven operations and through tip-offs from citizens.
A statement from the SAPS said that the firearms were destroyed through a melting process that took place at Arcelor Mittal Steel in Vereeniging, Gauteng Province.
“Over 33,000 firearms have now been destroyed for the first half of this financial year. The latest destruction included 30 913 handguns, 1 452 rifles and 894 shotguns as well as 725 firearm parts,” the statement read in part.
The SAPS said that it had destroyed more 52,000 firearms on two separate occasions between April 2019 and March 2020.
“The SAPS will continue to fight the proliferation of illegal firearms and ammunition as they pose a threat to the safety and security of the citizens of this country on a journey to a safer South Africa,” the SAPS said.
The SAPS urged the public to come forward with any information relating to illegal firearms pledging to keep informants anonymous and treat all information received with confidentiality.
“We are appealing to members of communities, especially those that are plagued by serious and violent crimes committed with firearms, to report any knowledge of such perpetrators and firearms,” it added.
The South African city of Cape Town is notorious for having one of the country’s highest murder rates. In July last year, the government deployed soldiers to help police quell a spike in violence in the city’s gang-infested areas.