Saturday, April 17, 2010

Boland arms caches found

Boland arms caches found
17 April 2010, 15:24
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By Warda Meyer

A significant arms cache including explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition has been found in the Worcester home of a former lieutenant-colonel in the old civilian force Commandos, sparking fears of a right-wing paramilitary build-up.The arrest of Frederick Rabie, 62, comes a week after the arrest of the head of security at the Worcester Magistrate's Court following the discovery of a cache of explosives, firearms and ammunition in underground storerooms at the Magistrate's Court.Rabie was arrested last weekend after police followed up information about weapons being stored at his home in Combrinck Street.Warrant Officer November Filander said about 10 000 rounds of ammunition, including R5 rifle rounds, a 9mm pistol reported stolen in Mountview, Port Elizabeth in 2005, various pieces of SANDF equipment, including a laptop, Commando uniforms and several explosives, had been seized during the raid on Rabie's home.Rabie appeared in the Worcester Magistrate's Court on Monday and, astonishingly, was released on a warning to appear again on May 14. He was ordered to report to the local police station on Mondays and Fridays.Commenting on Rabie's release on a warning, William Booth, chairman of the criminal law committee for both the Cape Law Society and South African Law Society, said it was "highly unusual" when such serious charges had been laid.Rabie's treatment by the court is in sharp contrast to that meted out to Henry Harding, 45, who was arrested a fortnight ago and is still in custody.Police were led to the first arms cache after a tip-off and found a variety of rifles, pistols, stun grenades, smoke grenades, illumination grenades, rounds of different calibres, as well as army-issued items in safes, cupboards and a storeroom in an underground parking lot. Harding has appeared in court twice since his arrest on charges of theft, the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of drugs and illegal possession of explosive devices. He is expected to appear in court again next week to apply for bail. Western Cape Head of Justice Hishaam Mohamed said that, soon after the arrest, Harding had tendered his resignation with immediate effect. He confirmed that an internal investigation had been launched into the incident. Western Cape Community Safety MEC Lennit Max said the charges against both men were very serious."Police should act swiftly to find out what their motives were and what plans, if any, the men had," Max added.The chairman of the Worcester Community Policing Forum, Sebastian Abrahams, said people were concerned about the arms that had been discovered."People want to know why the men had these weapons and what they were planning to do with them."Abrahams added that people initially suspected possible right-wing activity but some now thought the arms could be mere memorabilia.A senior researcher for the Institute for Security Studies, Johan Burger, said if the weapons found in Worcester could be traced back to paramilitary groups, this could have serious ramifications for national security.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Argus on April 17, 2010

1 comment:

  1. How many arms, ammunitions and explosives is in the possession of the ANC MK Vets?

    Oh, they are protected by their minister.....

    Who searches their homes?