Saturday, 22 May 2021

ZIMBA NABBED WITH FIREARM IN SA

 A 34-year-old Zimbabwean man, Paulos Choto has landed himself in trouble in South Africa after he was allegedly found in possession of an illegal firearm and explosive gel in the Swartregguns area.

Choto was arrested on Thursday by Gauteng police following a tip off. His two accomplices are reportedly still at large. Choto has since appeared before the Bafokeng magistrates court in Tlhabane on 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 11 October. He said he was remanded in custody after he abandoned his initial bail application.

“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 Swartregguns area. The case was postponed to 11 October 2021 for further investigations and the accused abandoned bail. The accused was intercepted by the police near Rietvellie graveyard in Phokeng outside Rustenburg and two of his accomplices managed to flee.”

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

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

It is believed that most of the explosives are 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 Zimbabwe and South Africa’s border.

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