Embarrassing Arms Theft Exposes SANDF’s Lack of Defence Readiness, Says DA

In this time of peace and goodwill the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has let the nation down as criminals were able to stroll into the Littleton Military Base, and walk off with at least 19 R4 automatic rifles, manufactured for extreme warfare, says Kobus Marais – DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans.

guns firearms
Stock photo. Source: SAPS

In a press statement on Tuesday, Marais said the theft is “embarrassing” and that it’s “outrageous to even consider that access could be gained into a supposedly highly protected military facility and further grind open a volt where ammunition is kept”.

Not to mention that having such arms on the streets poses a serious threat to the safety of citizens and the security of the Republic.

“This is a stark reminder of earlier thefts of similar weapons at the 9SAI military base outside Cape Town, as well as the use of similar military rifles in various bank and cash-in-transit heists,” said Marais.


He said it poses certain questions, such as:

  • Was the volt key left for the criminals?
  • Was it an inside job?
  • Where were the guards, and why could they not defend a strategic military installation?
  • Why were guards at a military installation  not able to prevent the criminals from accessing a supposedly secure facility?

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has previously questioned the readiness and preparedness of the SANDF to effectively respond to various military threats.

Today, Marais said: “This embarrassing robbery is a symptom of bigger problems in the SANDF.”

He called for SANDF commanding officers, the Secretary of Defence and the Minister of Defence to cancel their holidays, to launch an investigation and track down the stolen arms.

“It is their constitutional responsibility and is the least they should do, in order to show South Africans they are serious about fighting crime and upholding the security of the country,” said Marais.

The DA will submit various questions to the Minister to get to the bottom of the incident.