Namibian Police guns used for crime in South Africa

The South African Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) has confirmed it is investigating numerous cases in which firearms belonging to the Namibian Police have been used to commit crimes in South Africa (SA).

Hawks spokesperson brigadier Thandi Mbambo confirmed these investigations to The Namibian earlier this month.

“We have continued to engage our counterparts in Namibia to verify their statistics. Cross-border policing will be between [the Namibian Police] and the greater South African Police Service (SAPS),” she said.

This comes after Namibian citizen Urbanus Shaumbwako was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the Cape Town Regional Court last month.

Shaumbwako was arrested by the SAPS in Cape Town in October 2020.

Mbambo told The Namibian about two weeks ago the SAPS has established that 12 firearms, all 9mm pistols belonging to the Namibian Police, were found in Shaumbwako’s possession.

Shaumbwako faced charges ranging from the possession of prohibited firearms, defeating or obstructing the course of justice and negligent and reckless driving.

Mbambo said the Hawks are unable to divulge the total number of firearms confiscated from alleged criminals in SA belonging to the Namibian Police so far.

Asked how the firearms crossed the border into SA, Mbambo said: “We are unable to provide any further details than the information already provided. It’s not in our policy to give blow-by-blow details of our investigations.”

National police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi last week referred The Namibian to the office of Namibian Police inspector general Joseph Shikongo, which did not respond to questions.

Namibian Police’s head of criminal investigations commissioner Lilungwe Mayumbelo could not comment on the matter on Friday.

“I am currently on leave. I had shared the questions with the team that is investigating. Kindly expect a response via the police’s public relations division,” he said.

Shikwambi told The Namibian in June 2022 that there was no record of Namibian Police guns trafficked from Namibia to South Africa.

This came after The Namibian received information that a Namibian national was involved in smuggling guns belonging to the Namibian Police to SA.

The guns were allegedly smuggled into SA between 2019 and 2021.

The media at the time reported that about 170 firearms had been stolen and sold in Cape Town.

In 2022, South Africa’s Sunday Times reported that the Namibian Police allegedly admitted to their SA counterpart it was missing 174 guns.

The Namibian Police arrested four police officers in 2022, who stood accused of having stolen 90 firearms and ammunition from the police’s central depot in 2021.

All four were stationed at the police’s central depot in Windhoek.

Shaumbwako is also accused, alongside Namibian nationals Erkki Shikongo, Petrus Afrikaner, Petrus Muhekeni, and South African national Namibian-born Imanuwela David, of involvement in a burglary at South African president Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in February 2020.

The group reportedly stole money hidden in a couch.

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