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Top South African footballer on weapons charge

10-21-2010 11:28 BJT

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Benson Mhlongo, a prominent South African footballer, who has represented his country and is currently a stalwart of glamour club Orlando Pirates, was one of six people arrested on Wednesday for possession an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

According to the South African Press Association (SAPA), Mhlongo and five others appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court in South Africa' s Mpumalanga province.

South African police said the firearm, which was loaded with 13 bullets, was found hidden in the boot of a white BMW belonging to the 30-year-old soccer star.

Police captain Leonard Hlathi said Mhlongo and his companions were arrested after their vehicle was pulled over for a stop and search police operation on Wednesday morning.

Others arrested were Siyabonga Mhlongo, 33, Thokozani Mbatha, 24, Mlungisi Timothy Nkosi, 22, Precious Busisiwe Bunde, 20, and Millicent Ngobese, 22.

One of the accused, Siyabonga Mhlongo, had a pending murder case against him, and he was granted 2,000 rands (285 U.S. dollars) bail.

The others were released on 1000 rands (142.5 U.S. dollars) bail each.

Orlando Pirates public relations officer, Mickey Modisane, said the club knew nothing about the incident other than Mhlongo had been injured.

In August, Mhlongo and a friend, Thape Madisa, were hijacked, kidnapped and robbed near Midrand near Johannesburg.

They were subjected to a five-hour long ordeal after which the gunmen fled with cellphones, shoes and Mhlongo' s car, a BMW I series sedan.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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