KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, says they have opened a case to probe as to who authorised the release of the container that carried ammunition from the Durban harbour.

Mkhwanazi has revealed that the mysterious container had initially been refused entry into the country at the harbour.

He was speaking during a media briefing with Police Minister Bheki Cele in Inanda north of Durban on Tuesday.

“The SAPS as we are controlling the shipping containers that are coming into the country, we are profiling them as part of the profile. Early in July, we picked up a container that was containing the ammunition in the harbour and we declined entry of that container as [the] South African Police Service.”

“When the incident happened during this looting at Umbilo we discovered ammunition there. When we inspected where the ammunition came from, we found the same container that we had declined entry into the country. We then registered a case and a case is being investigated to determine who authorised the release of that container from the harbour,” he explains.

Mkhwanazi says the undisclosed amount of ammunition was stolen from the container because it was not properly secured.

“The ammunition was eventually lost, it was then kept at a shipping company which in terms of our laws it was not allowed to and it was kept in a container in the yard. The breaking of the container in the yard was just easy. It was not in compliance with the laws besides the fact that it was there illegally.”

“So we registered another case for that and that case is investigated by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) and also the status of the case I cannot explain much but it is safe to say there are two cases related to that container that we are investigating. So there has been ammunition recovered and different operations that we have been conducting some related to the ammunition coming from that container,” says the KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner.

In the stream below, Cele provides an update on the Phoenix violence matter: