The police commissioner of operational response services Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has overseen the destruction of 35,069 firearms which were either confiscated by the police, voluntary surrendered to or forfeited to the state.
The destruction took place at Cape Gate Wire and Steel Manufacturer in Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng.
The firearms destroyed on Thursday included 9,918 which were voluntarily surrendered during the 2019/2020 firearm amnesty period from December 1 2019 to May 31 2020.
The police said only 2019/2020 amnesty firearms that were not linked to a pending firearm application or criminal investigation were included for destruction.
The rest of the firearms which were destroyed on Thursday were confiscated by the police during intelligence driven operations, routine stop and searches as well as tip-offs received from community members.
Police spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili said the national police commissioner was mandated by the Firearms Control Act to destroy firearms and ammunition seized by, surrendered to or forfeited to the state.
The police service thanked members of the public who participated in the current firearm amnesty which ends on Sunday. It said 40,729 firearms and 199,573 rounds of ammunition have been surrendered so far.
“Individuals and institutions in possession of illegal, obsolete and redundant firearms or parts thereof are encouraged to use the remaining three days to surrender them without fear of prosecution for illegal possession,” Muridili said.