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Saai court battle win against failing SAPS systems shows firearm ownership more essential than ever

Gun regulations back up concealed carry personal protection gun

The High Court in Pretoria ruled in favour of the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai), compelling the South African Police Service (SAPS) to disclose records on firearms destruction earlier in April. This is related to the firearms that were destroyed in 2021 and 2022. 

This comes after SAPS failed to provide proof that the firearms had undergone IBIS ballistic analysis before being destroyed. SAAI cited the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to gain access to these records. This failure by the police means that it remains unclear whether these firearms, potentially linked to crimes, were properly accounted for before being destroyed, or even whether they were even destroyed in the first place. 

However the police failed to provide destruction certificates or information verifying the list was provided. In a very concerning turn of events, a spreadsheet was  provided which listed  16 805 firearms or firearm parts which were purportedly destroyed without first being subjected to IBIS testing. This raises grave concerns about public safety and the rule of law. 

It is no secret that the police provide criminals with weapons and declare them as ‘missing’. A report in 2023 revealed that ex-police officer, Christiaan Prinsloo, sold more than 2000 stolen firearms to gang networks in the Western Cape. The guns he sold had already been linked to the deaths of 89 children and the wounding of 170 minors. In the same year, a police report revealed that over 1000 murders were committed using police guns since 2016. It is therefore safe to assume that many of these firearms that were ‘destroyed’ without a trace, are now in the hands of violent criminals. 

SAPS is clearly failing, and it has become very clear that firearms ownership is no longer a question when it comes to personal safety in South Africa.

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