The truth about how 33 firearms went missing from two Cape Town police stations recently is allegedly being disguised up to protect certain senior police officers in the Western Cape.

This is according to several sources with intimate knowledge of the matter.

It was deduce that since the 33 firearms went missing about a month ago, more than 24 police officers, including at least one station commander, have been suspended.

On the other hand, their inspector, including police commanders, remain in office and it is these top police officers that the sources say should have instead been suspended as they are the ones who were meant to be overseeing the firearms.

Some provenance say the suspensions forms part of a crafty move to backup certain officers.

One said specific police officers were being targeted as management was looking for “fall guys”.

ANC community activist Colin Arendse wrote to acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba on Thursday and asked about the suspensions.

“It has been brought to my attention that 14 members of the Police Service were suspended,” he said.

HINnews discerns that the police major-general who pushed ahead with the suspensions is accountable of previously trying to get hold of the cellphone records, allegedly in an illegal manner, of senior Western Cape police officer Major-General Jeremy Vearey.

Suspended police officers includes a station commander, visible policing head, all relief commanders, and community service centre commanders.

The ANC Community Activist wanted to know why those at station level had been suspended, as he felt those senior to them should be held responsible for the guns going missing.

He asked if officers had been suspended as a result of the missing firearms, police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut did not confirm or deny this on Wednesday.

“The suspension of a member is regarded an internal process between the employee and the employer and the detail thereof is not open for discussion,” Traut comfirmend

He said the investigation into the missing firearms had not yet wrapped up.

Main while, an audit of firearms at all police stations in the Western Cape is set to go ahead following the missing guns.

The fresh claims about missing police firearms brings to mind the June 2016 transfers of Vearey and Major-General Peter Jacobs, who at one stage headed up South Africa’s biggest ever gun smuggling investigation.

They had said their transfers, which they successfully appealed in the Cape Town Labour Court, but which national police are still fighting, had effectively stifled the probe which was uncovering, among other activities, corruption within the police.

Hawks has currently taken over the investigation and they are looking into several aspects of the country’s illegal firearms trade, including the import and export of illegal guns and how these weapons are being used in organized crime violence.

It was announced on  Tuesday by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula that former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza, whose appointment was previously found to be unlawful and void, would have to retire due to an order by the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“I remind our members that Major-General Ntlemeza is henceforth in the outside, I demand that our members must do their work professionally and disabuse the notion of being ‘so-and-so people’ or in rogue cabals,” Mbalula said.

In a leaked recording , from a source with close ties to policing, it is claimed members of the police’s stability unit booked out 20 R5 rifles in Bellville.

The source says in the recording that unit members had moved around and at one point “forgot” the weapons, which had been in a container.

Firearms recently also went missing from the Mitchells Plain police station.

HINnews understands that in both incidents, the guns had been stored for, and used by, stability unit members officers who move around and focus on certain volatile areas to try and restore calm.

According to sources, these specific firearms were kept locked in a container within a locked storeroom in the Bellville South station, as well in the Mitchells Plain police station.

While officers at station level had access to the storerooms, only certain officers linked to the stability unit had keys to the containers in which the firearms were kept.

Last week, Mbalula said in a statement that 33 firearms – 18 of which were handed in as exhibits and 15 which were state issued – were unaccounted for.

He said police officers had likely smuggled the firearms to gangsters.

During a police portfolio committee meeting in Parliament in August, deputy national commissioner of policing Lieutenant-General Sehlahle Masemola said mostly revolvers and pistols, not rifles, went missing in the Bellville South incident.

Masemola, in his address in Parliament, said pistols went missing from Mitchells Plain.

Altough, sources were adamant that rifles went missing in the Bellville South incident.

Bellville South is a stronghold of the Sexy Boys gang.

Alleged Sexy Boys gang leader Jerome “Donkie” Booysen was the target of a shooting in Bellville South on September 13.

His vehicle was shot at 21 times, according to sources.

An R5 automatic rifle cartridge was found at the scene and an R5 projectile was among items found in the vehicle and handed in to police. A rifle was therefore apparently used in the incident.

It was the second time Booysen was shot at in five months.

On Friday, a court case involving allegations of police guns being smuggled to gangsters, with the assistance of police officers, is set to proceed in the Western Cape High Court.

Rondebosch businessman Irshaad “Hunter” Laher and Vereeniging arms dealer Alan Raves are expected in the dock.

Ex-police colonel Chris Prinsloo, now serving a jail sentence, previously said he had sold at least 2 000 firearms, meant to be destroyed by police, to Laher, who then allegedly sold these to gangsters.