Pirates player out on bail
Benson Mhlongo (Gallo Images)
Mbombela - Orlando Pirates midfielder Benson Mhlongo, 30, and five co-accused appeared briefly in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on Wednesday for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Members of the police's flying squad arrested him on Wednesday morning, along with Mlungisi Nkosi, 22, Siyabonga Mhlanga, 32, Thokozane Mbatha, 32, and two women, Precious Bunde, 20, and Bonny Ngobese, 21.
They were not asked to plead and the case was postponed to November 3 for further investigation.
Their lawyer, Slungu Thobela, said only Mhlongo was able to pay bail of R1 000, while the rest were remanded in custody.
Only Nkosi’s bail was set at R2 000 after it was found that he was out on bail in connection with a murder case.
Provincial police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi was unable to confirm that the police had received a tip-off about a suspicious-looking car that was parked along the R157 next to a farm near Mbombela.
He could only confirm that police stopped the car, Mhlongo's BMW 5-series, searched the boot and confiscated a firearm and 13 live rounds of ammunition.
"The police then arrested all six people and also confiscated the vehicle," Hlathi said.
The car was later returned to Mhlongo when it was confirmed that it was his.
According to the Firearm Control Act, owning or being in possession of a firearm without a valid licence is a major offence, punishable by maximum prison sentences of between 15 and 25 years.