Driver sentenced to185 years for illegal firearms

City of Cape Town traffic officials arrested Urbanus Shaumbwako for possessing illegal firearms. Picture: Tracey Adams

City of Cape Town traffic officials arrested Urbanus Shaumbwako for possessing illegal firearms. Picture: Tracey Adams

Published Apr 29, 2024


The Cape Town Regional Court has sentenced 41-year-old Urbanus Lomboleni Shaumbwako to 185 years in prison for defeating the ends of justice, reckless driving, and possession of illegal firearms.

He was arrested in October 2020, when Cape Town law enforcement conducted a vehicle checkpoint (VCP) procedure in Blaauwberg Road, Western Cape, on April 18.

The traffic officials noticed an unusual Volkswagen Polo, which belonged to the accused, and searched the vehicle. Amid the search, a red bag was retrieved on the passenger side floor. Shaumbwako sped away from the scene.

However, the traffic officials managed to capture him after he threw the red bag under a taxi and attempted to abscond. In the bag, the officers discovered illegal firearms.

The case was led by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, which ensured Shaumbwako remained in custody.

Shaumbwako faced 17 counts of charges. For count 1 to 12, he will serve 15 years direct imprisonment on each count, for illegally possessing a 1.9mm Parabellum calibre Beretta semi-automatic pistol.

Count 2 to 12 sentences will run concurrently with the sentence imposed in count 1 in adherence to section 280 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.

For count 13, the accused will serve 24 months direct imprisonment for obstructing the ends of justice. Shaumbwako will either serve 12 months imprisonment, or pay a fine of R6 000 for count 14, which is negligent and reckless driving.

Shaumbwako, for count 15 to 17, will serve two years imprisonment for obtaining firearms in count 1 to 12, from a person who knew that the manufacturer’s serial number was erased, or altered. Also, the accused did not alert the registrar that the serial number of the firearms were changed, knowing the firearms could be used for illegal purposes; and the firearms were modified by a person who did not hold a Gunsmith’s licence.

Although the accused was handed down a jail term of 185 years, Shaumbwako will only serve 20 years direct imprisonment.

Additionally, the accused was declared unfit to possess a firearm.

The Provincial Head of the Western Cape, Major General Mathipa Makgato commended the Hawks, including the National Prosecuting Authority, for their excellent job in ensuring a conviction and heavy sentence.

The Star

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