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Zimbabwean man busted for illegal firearm, explosives

by Staff reporter
23 May 2021 at 07:25hrs | Views
A 34-year-old Zimbabwean man has landed in trouble after he was found in possession of an illegal firearm and explosive gel in the Swartruggens, North West Province, South Africa.

Paulos Choto was arrested on Thursday by Gauteng police following a tip off, while his two accomplices evaded arrest and remain at large.

Choto has since appeared before the Bafokeng magistrates' court in Tlhabane facing charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm, ammunition and explosive gel.

North West's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mr Henry Mamothane said Choto's trial had been set for October 11.

"He appeared in court following his arrest by the police, actioned on a tip-off by members of the community on a planned house break-in at a farm in the Swartruggens area," said Mr Mamothane.

"The case was postponed to 11 October 2021 for further investigations and the accused abandoned bail.

"The accused was intercepted by the police near Rietvallei graveyard in Phokeng outside Rustenburg and two of his accomplices managed to flee".

He said the police were in pursuit of Choto's two accomplices. Mr Mamothane said a 9 mm pistol, a live ammunition magazine and an explosive gel were found inside the Toyota Prado the suspects were travelling in.

Smuggling of explosives between South Africa and Zimbabwe is common along the Limpopo River.

Explosives are generally used for illegal mining activities in the Gauteng and Free State provinces, and in other cases they are used for Automated Teller Machines (ATM) bombings.

Over 70 people have been arrested in the last three years while smuggling explosives at the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Source - sundaymail