The Minister of Police Bheki Cele addressed reporters after a site visit to Linden Police Station which is situated in Johannesburg.
Bheki Cele swore that he will intensify his fight against guns in South Africa by suggesting amendments to the Firearms Control Act.
Cele explained that government’s firearms amnesty programme had made great progress since December 2019.
The Minister stated that more than 2000 firearms had been surrendered since the start of the recent amnesty period, which comes to an end in May 2020.
However, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has been under scorching fire as a result of failing to safeguard guns that have been conceded. Corruption Amongst cops and dire security at the police stations has increased a deep mistrust in the firearms amnesty programme.
Questions surrounding the integrity of the programme were aimed directly at Cele, who had just overseen the surrender of 300 firearms and approximately 3 000 rounds of ammunition at the Linden precinct. Cele reassured reporters that steps were being taken to ensure the safekeeping of guns destined for destruction, saying:
“When we find them [corrupt police officers], they will need to be flushed out of the system.
In the gazette, we have 46 police stations that are not fit to carry firearms. We are not going to tell you which ones – you will be told once you go there.”
Cele added that officers in charge of the police stations which were not deemed fit to house surrendered firearms would redirect gun owners to suitable precincts.
“A single gun [taken] out of circulation is a success.
Individuals should not have firearms… it will be wonderful to have a country where individuals are not issued firearms.”
Cele also revealed statistics relating to the current firearms amnesty programme.
- Gauteng – 527 firearms surrendered
- Western Cape with – 514 firearms surrendered
- KwaZulu-Natal – 309 firearms surrendered
- Limpopo – 252 firearms surrendered
- Eastern Cape – 189 firearms surrendered
- Mpumalanga – 173 firearms surrendered
- Free State – 163 firearms surrendered
- North West – 91 firearms surrendered
- Northern Cape – 48 firearms surrendered
The Police Minister urged gun owners to make full use of the amnesty period or face the might of the law after May 2020.