Namibian Police guns used in SA violent crimes

GANG VIOLENCE … A leaked memo compiled by the Namibian Police shows that 80 pistols belonging to the Namibian Police have been confiscated in operations led by the South African Police Service’s directorate of priority crime investigations (Hawks). Photo for illustration. Photo:

A leaked memo compiled by Namibian Police commissioner Moritz !Naruseb exposed a connection between missing Namibian Police firearms and a surge in gang violence in South Africa (SA).

!Naruseb wrote the memo to Namibian Police deputy inspector Elias Mutota on 11 August 2023.

The document was compiled after a five-day investigation by the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) directorate of priority crime investigations (Hawks) to Namibia.

Questions sent to Mutota and Namibian Police national spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi yesterday were not responded to at the time of going to print.

The Hawks visited Namibia in July last year to investigate Namibian Police firearms recovered in SA.

“SAPS said they are experiencing a serious increase in gang violence, especially shooting incidents in the Western Cape,” !Naruseb said.

Elias Mutota
Moritz !Naruseb


He said 80 pistols belonging to the Namibian Police were confiscated in operations led by the SAPS.

“All these pistols were engraved with the letters NPW,” !Naruseb wrote, which refers to Namibian Police Weapon.

He said 23 of the guns had serial numbers either fully visible or partially removed.

He said the SAPS revealed that 30 out of 80 firearms had been destroyed upon confiscation.

The SAPS did not know the NPW marking was associated with the Namibian Police.

The SAPS said 50 pistols were stored separately in a “strong room” and were willing to repatriate them to Namibia, provided Namibia processes a formal repatriation application.

Twelve pistols were found in the possession of Urbanus Shaumbwako, one of the five Namibian men suspected of stealing from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm.

Shaumbwako (41) was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Cape Town Regional Court in April this year.

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

!Naruseb said the SAPS informed local police that two recovered Uzi sub-machine guns, suspected to be from Namibia, were seized from a Namibian truck driver.

The Hawks confirmed to The Namibian in May this year, that it was investigating numerous cases in which firearms belonging to the Namibian Police have been used to commit crimes in SA.


!Naruseb in 2022 said the Namibian investigation team was mandated by the inspector general of the local police to conduct the verification of weapons at the police depot.

The firearms were allegedly listed in a handwritten book.

He said the firearm database was derived from the book.

“This therefore renders such a list unreliable for the purposes of verification and accountability,” !Naruseb said, adding that several receipt vouchers for firearms are missing from the depot.

!Naruseb recommended the establishment of a joint investigations team comprised of the Namibian Police and the SAPS to identify, link and arrest all persons who may have connived with the accused persons in the transnational firearm smuggling syndicate.

A police source told The Namibian this week that 13 of the missing Namibian Police guns were discovered in Angola.

“It took them time to realise that the guns were disappearing. The same weapons sold in SA are similar to those sold in Angola,” the source said.


In April 2022, Angolan police chief Arnaldo Carlos and former Namibian Police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga launched a joint investigation involving 13 firearms and 450 rounds of ammunition smuggled into Angola.

Carlos at the time said four people, including a Namibian national, were arrested.

However, the Namibian national was released on bail after appearing in court, he said.

Ndeitunga said the suspects used documents with forged signatures of Angola’s police chief to buy the weapons in Namibia.

That year, Namibian citizen Tomas Daniel was arrested in Angola after he was found in possession of illegal arms.

There were also 18 gun magazines, four pistol magazines, 51 1/50 ammo boxes and 15 sabre knives.

It turns out that the weapons belong to the Namibian Police.

Albert Kawana


In May 2022, home affairs, immigration, safety and security minister Albert Kawana said weapons exclusively meant to be used by the police, army and intelligence officials are among those smuggled from Namibia into Angola.

However, he refused to provide further details on the firearms, saying that doing so “would jeopardise the ongoing investigation”.

The Namibian reported in 2022 that 178 weapons worth N$2,5 million were allegedly stolen by five police officers in Windhoek.

Police and court documents reveal that some of the weapons were sold and may be in the hands of criminals.

Five police officers, namely Loini Shoondi (58), Kavari Mutuari (36), Fredericks Vilonel (62), Laban Hoveka Uaundjua (59) and Halwoodi Paulus (57), were arrested in connection with the theft.

Court documents show that the weapons theft syndicate took place from January 2009 until the police busted it in November last year.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News