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Hawks arrest illegal Mozambican over unlicensed firearms in Welkom

Osvaldo Julia Cumbane.Photo: Supplied/Hawks

Osvaldo Julia Cumbane.Photo: Supplied/Hawks

A Mozambican man who was initially released on bail despite being accused of illegally possessing illegal firearms in South Africa is back behind bars in Welkom, Free State.

The Bloemfontein Hawks serious organized crime investigation team re-arrested the man after an intensive search.

The wayward defendant Osvaldo Julia Cumbane (31) was initially granted bail in June 2020 following his appearance before the Welkom District Court. The court granted the defendant bail of R5,000 despite questionable circumstances.

The fact that he had entered South Africa illegally and the existing prospect that he posed a flight risk also emerged.

It emerged that Cumbane disappeared after being granted bail in 2020 and also failed to comply with bail conditions which included a reappearance in court in the criminal case.

Hawks provincial spokesman WO Fikiswa Matoti said the elite crime-fighting wing had re-arrested Cumbane after contempt of court. “As the defendant failed to comply with the bail conditions, a new arrest warrant was issued,” Matoti said.

She said Cumbane would be charged with illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, illegal presence in South Africa and possession of suspected stolen property.

Matoti said Welkom police arrested the accused on June 16, 2020 after receiving reliable information that he was in possession of unlicensed firearms.

“Cumbane was arrested by members after they confiscated two Norinco pistols and a magazine with cartridges,” Matoti said.

The accused is expected to go to trial soon. Mojalefa Senokoatsane, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Free State and Northern Cape, said the case had been relisted for the Bar and referred to the Welkom Regional Court.

However, there was no explanation from the public prosecutor’s office. The Welkom Court granted Cumbane bail on compelling grounds given the circumstances of his illegitimacy in South Africa and the alleged crime of possession of unlicensed ammunition and unlicensed firearms, which was proven to be the case. There are even more brutal murders in South Africa.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has since pointed out that, according to findings from the South African Police Service (SAPS), firearms are the weapon of choice.

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