Ratte lawyer: Ammo mostly pellets
Ratte, 10 others arrested
Buks Viljoen, Beeld
Nelspruit - A large quantity of ammunition which was allegedly stolen from the Hoedspruit air force base has been found on a farm near Carolina in Mpumalanga.
The approximately 17 000 rounds, of which more than half are for R4 assault rifles, were found in a house rented by a former air force flight instructor.
The suspect, whose identity is known to Beeld, is currently in Nigeria where he is supposedly working as a mercenary.
The police carried out the raid on the farm Jaglus, about 10km outside Carolina, on Monday night after receiving a tip-off about the ammunition.
The suspect rents a house on the farm. Three firearms (for which the suspect does have licences) were also seized.
These firearms are a 9mm pistol, a .303 and a .22 rifle.
The police also suspect that there are illegal firearms in a second safe discovered in the house.
Apparently this second safe will only be opened once the suspect has returned to South Africa.
The information about where the ammunition was kept was apparently given to police after they conducted a raid last week on Willem Ratte and nine other men.
Leonard Hlathi, spokesperson for the unit against organised crime in Mpumalanga, confirmed that the seized ammunition is being kept at the police station in Carolina.
He could not say whether there is any link between the raids on Ratte and the farm at Carolina.
The ammunition also included hundreds of 12-gauge, .22, .303 and 9mm rounds.
Meanwhile Beeld has determined that plans are being made to bring the suspect back to South Africa from Nigeria by the weekend.
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