About R1-million's worth of ammunition – about 20 000 rounds – was stolen from the Pretoria police station on November 3, 2015, The Times revealed on Tuesday. Experts fear these bullets may be used in cash-in-transit heists, the report says.
This follows previous reporting by The Times which revealed that "hundreds of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition" were being stored in "unprotected and dilapidated buildings" in Pretoria.
Institute for Security Studies expert Johan Burger told The Times that this type of ammo was used by cash-in-transit robberies.
According to The Times, the ammunition was stolen from the police's tactical response team in Pretoria – a unit which deals with cash-in-transit robberies, amongst others. It is reportedly unclear if the ammunition was uncovered.
An internal police report recommends disciplinary action against the unit's commander and "corrective counselling" for its 30 members, The Times said. Police confirmed to The Times that no arrests had been made and appealed to the public for assistance in the investigation.
The Times reported that there were fears of a cover-up, as there was a "suspicious delay" in reporting the crime and launching an investigation. According to the paper:
- No arrests have been made
- No disciplinary action has been taken against people fingered by an internal police probe
- A criminal case was not opened until 10 days after the theft was discovered
- More than a month passed before an internal investigation was launched
- Parliament's portfolio committee on police was not told about the theft
- There was no mention of the theft in the police's annual report
DA MP Zak Mbele told The Times that the police would be questioned about the theft in Parliament.