UPDATE: Firearms go for ballistic testing

Different types of plastic explosives and other items. Photo: Supplied.

Update 31 March:

A massive arsenal of weapons was found at a property basement on Bram Fischer Drive on 27 March. Among the cache items such as R5s, AK-47s, hand grenades and a suicide vest were recovered.

Provincial Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said,

“We were first alerted to a situation at the building by construction workers who noticed a suspicious bag.”

Ward 102 Councillor David Potter commented,

“The finding of the firearms and the like is a shock to the community of Randburg. Such is not a usual occurrence in the ward. However, should community members be aware of any such illegal activities, such should be reported to the police station via the office of the station commander or alternatively, Crime Line.”

Masondo, who is the lead of communications for the incident, added that the firearms and the like are being tested by a ballistics team in Pretoria. “We are testing the items to find out if they have been used recently,” added Masondo.

He said that no arrests have been made, but investigations are underway. He concluded that an enquiry has been launched and, at this stage, they are looking to link a suspect or suspects to the cache of illegal firearms.

Captain Makgowanyana Maja, spokesperson for Randburg Police Station said that, in general, firearms are being recovered and suspects are arrested by the police on their daily routine duties. He also explained that firearms are deemed as illegal is when one possesses a firearm without a licence or possessing a firearm when the licence has expired.

Potter added, “Should the SAPS fail to attend to any complaints [about illegal firearms], the escalation procedure would be to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate for further investigation and action.”


Initial report:

Police recovered a small arsenal in a storage site on Bram Fischer Drive near Dover Street in Randburg CBD on 27 March.

Gauteng Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said, “The entire stash has been taken by our forensics team to Pretoria for documentation and to be examined.”

He could not confirm how old the items recovered are but only that some looked very old and some appeared to be more recent.

“We are currently in the process of interviewing the old owner of the building as well as people who live in the near vicinity.”

In estimation the items recovered were:

R5 x 1
AK47 x 7
Uzi x 1
Revolver x 12
M16 x 1
Rifle Magazines x 31
Pistol Magazines x 31

A small arsenal is uncovered at a Randburg storage Site. Photo: Supplied.

Bombs and Explosives:
10 Kg of Plastic Explosives
60 x Mortar Rockets
6 x M26 Hand grenades
3 x Detonators
1 x Suicide Vests

The suicide vest according to Masondo looks very old and could not confirm if it was intended to be used in a terror attack.


Hand grenades wrapped in protective plastic. Photo: Supplied.

Live Rounds:
9mm x 1000
AK 47 x 3000
R5 x 500
M16 x 200

Different types of plastic explosives and other items. Photo: Supplied.

“We were first alerted to the building by construction workers who noticed a suspicious bag,” said Masondo.

Inside the bag were about 60 mortar bombs.


A K9 unit and bomb squad were called to search the building. ”We went into the basement and that’s when we found [the other weapons].”

The police’s forensic team were still on scene last night counting the weapons and ammunition.

Reports initially emerged of a bomb scare.

It has since come to light that the reason for the major police presence was a firearm and old explosive material recovery operation in an unused storage site on Dover Street.


More details to follow.

Ashtyn Mackenzie

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