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Call to probe top cop over stolen firearm

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Prompt attention should be given to his complaint and that a senior commissioned officer from police head office should contact him as a matter of urgency

Lieutenant-General Risimati Peter Shivuri.

A COMMUNITY activist and whistle-blower, Colin Arendse, yesterday urged the National Police Commissioner, General Khehal Sithole, to investigate the Northern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, for alleged negligence after he was robbed of his firearm on the weekend.

Arendse informed Sithole that he was in the process of preparing an affidavit for a criminal and departmental investigation against Shivuri, where he believed that he should be probed for “the alleged grossly negligent loss of a firearm”.

He requested that prompt attention should be given to his complaint and that a senior commissioned officer from police head office should contact him as a matter of urgency.

Meanwhile, Shivuri has denied reports that his SAPS-issued firearm was ever left unattended.

Northern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba yesterday explained that Shivuri had taken his car to an informal car wash on September 8 near the public library, in the vicinity of the Kim Park shopping centre, at around 3.15pm.

“The suspect in the case is the person who washes the cars. He grabbed a man bag (containing the firearm) – and not a laptop bag – from the provincial commissioner, while he was seated in the driver’s seat collecting his items as he was going to disembark from his vehicle.”

Ramatseba indicated that Shivuri was in possession of his police-issued firearm at the time of the incident.

“Regarding the report that the firearm was left unattended, it is false as the firearm was in the possession of the provincial commissioner at the time of the incident. All reported stolen items were inside the man bag as the lieutenant-general was preparing to get out of his vehicle.”

Ramatseba added that Shivuri had chased after the suspect in an effort to recover his man bag containing the firearm.

“He also activated other police members to assist in apprehending the suspect immediately. On the same day, Sunday (September 9), between 6pm and 7pm, the firearm was found in the possession of a suspect in Greenpoint.”

Ramatseba pointed out that it was police procedure to register and investigate any suspected case of negligence against any SAPS member, “no matter what the circumstances”.

“However, in this case the firearm was not left unattended as it was in the possession of the provincial commissioner at the time of the incident.”

He also stated that Shivuri was never involved with any gangs. “With reference to the Western Cape story that was falsely reported, it must be correctly stated that the provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Shivuri, was not involved with the gangs. He was busy conducting an investigation when he was unlawfully photographed while interviewing a person implicated in the case.”

Ramatseba added that reports about Shivuri’s use of a SAPS helicopter in Colesberg during the 2017 ANC elective conference, amounted to “propaganda”.

“The SAPS chopper was used for operations during the conference. It is standard procedure for the pilot to land after a long period of flying, allowing them to refuel and rest. Unlike commercial flights, there are no ablution facilities on the chopper, hence the landing at the open space next to the garage where various restaurants and public toilets were located.”

He said that the police were not obliged to inform anybody whether they were involved in any covert or overt operations.

“It must be categorically stated that Shivuri did not visit the Gariep Dam. Many police members who performed duties during the ANC conference resided at the Gariep Dam, including the (helicopter) pilots.”