Assault rifle seized from students ‘closely resembles SADF’s R4’

The Galil assault rifle that the police confiscated from students in Braamfontein is a weapon Denel copied when it developed its R4 rifle in 1980 for use by the South African Defence Force.

The Galil assault rifle seized from two students in Auckland Park on Wednesday. A gun shop owner says it closely resembles the R4, which was standard issue in the SA Defence Force in the 1980s.
Image: SAPS

This is according to George Loubser, owner of Gun SA in Roodepoort, which sells a variant of the rifle. He said the Galil was a military assault rifle.

“If you know the R4 assault rifle, it is the same as the Galil,” Loubser said.

The Galil is the Israeli assault rifle that the South African Vektor R4 is heavily based on, with a few small modifications.

The police arrested two students who were allegedly part of ongoing fees protests in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Wednesday for being in possession of the illegal high-calibre rifle. Police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said the confiscated rifle was an automatic.

Loubser said it was possible to get a licence for the semi-automatic rifle that the company sells. He said the Galil semi-automatic rifle he sells was the same as a pistol – it fires one shot every time the trigger is pulled, unlike an automatic rifle which fires continually until the trigger is released.

It has a shooting range of 300m.

Loubser said the firearm was suitable for armed security work, particularly in rural or harsh environments, like anti-poaching work. He said it was also suitable for self-defence in secluded areas such as farms.

Peters confirmed that both of those arrested for possession of the weapon were students. She said the male student was 24 and studied at an institution which the police were not at liberty to divulge. Peters said the female was 21. “She is a student from

Cape Town who was allegedly visiting,” she said.

Peters said they were likely to appear in court on Friday.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Ernest Mabuza


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