Loaded police gun left unattended in SAPS bathroom

A photograph of the pistol found at the Edenvale Police Station by community member Riaan Smit. Photograph taken by Riaan Smit.

Riaan Smit was shocked when he found a loaded, police-issued firearm in the public bathroom at Edenvale SAPS.

Smit went to the Edenvale Police Station on October 2 to assist his business partner who wanted to open a case.

He said he went to the bathroom and found the pistol in the stall.

“When I saw the gun I knew it was a Z88 police issued pistol. I questioned why it was there and wondered whether I was on candid camera,” said Smit.

A photograph of the pistol found in the bathroom stall at the Edenvale Police Station by community member Riaan Smit. Photograph taken by Riaan Smit.

Not wanting to touch the weapon, as he feared arrest, Smit called a sergeant and showed him the weapon.

Smit said the sergeant shrugged his shoulders and told him that anything that happens in the bathroom was not his responsibility.

Smit then notified a colonel about the weapon.

“Once in the bathroom the colonel didn’t say anything. The colonel just turned around and disappeared,” said Smit.

Smit said he waited near the charge office from where he could see the bathroom.

“Ten minutes later a warrant officer approached me and asked if I knew about the gun. I confirmed that I knew about it.

“The officer looked nervous. I accompanied him to the bathroom where he picked up the gun. He turned it over to look at the serial number,” said Smit.

Smit, a licensed firearm owner, said he was concerned that the gun had been left unattended in the bathroom.

Captain Jean Olckers, spokesperson of the Edenvale SAPS, said a case of negligent loss of a firearm in lawful possession was opened.

He said no arrests have been made and that the firearm has been identified as being a police firearm.

“The case will be investigated thoroughly,” said Olckers.

“If we find that this was due to negligence the person responsible will face the full might of the law – both criminally and departmentally,” said Olckers.

He said the loss of a firearm has serious consequences.

“No police officer is above the law. When they do wrong, they face the same consequences as the public, if not more as they should know better,” said Olckers.

Stephan Lehman

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