The details outlined in a recent news report (Wapenlisensie hernu ‘soos Matriek skryf’, Netwerk24: 15 September 2021), of how people have to stand in long queues at police stations every day to fill out applications for new firearm licences or the renewal of their existing licences while only 20 applications are processed per day, are absolutely unacceptable.
This is nothing but a method to undermine or sabotage law-abiding citizens, who want to renew their firearm licences in time and within the constraints of the law or who want to apply for a new licence, by creating needless delays in service at police stations.
I am inundated on a daily basis with complaints from people from all over the country claiming, among other things, that the designated firearm officials at police stations are not doing their jobs properly and, in some cases, even fail to keep appointments made ahead of time.
This creates the impression that there is a countrywide attempt to wear firearm owners down and discourage them from obtaining a new firearm licence or renewing their existing licence.
The matter must be resolved as soon as possible and I will send an official letter to the Police Commissioner, Gen. Khehla Sitole, to bring the matter to his attention.
He will need to issue a directive stipulating that individuals may go to any of the police stations in their area to fill out an application for a firearm licence and not only to a specific police station just because it is the nearest one to their residential address.
Furthermore, he must ensure that there are enough properly trained police members to assist the public with obtaining and renewing firearm licences.
Dr Pieter Groenewald