Feedback from Saai’s members clearly indicates that farmers will not allow their proposed disarmament. The ANC’s initiative to declare the owning of a firearm for self-defence purposes illegal, has caused an uproar in the agricultural community.
The family farmer organisation Saai is introducing its public campaign called #StillNoGun this week. The campaign is launched with the aim of putting pressure on the police to eradicate the longstanding backlogs in the applications for new firearms, amnesty, and renewals of existing firearms; and to return firearms to their rightful owners.
The police have collected hundreds of thousands of firearms for supposed ballistics testing, but have up to now been unable to explain how such tests would be done on shotguns. Farmers are particularly sceptical about the police’s capacity to do this, as well as their ability to store these firearms safely and cautiously.
“With an average of one farm attack every two days and one farm murder every five days over the past 25 years, South African farmers find themselves in unsafe circumstances which in every sense complies with the definition of a low-intensity civil war,” says Dr. Theo de Jager, Executive Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Saai.
Farmers believe the ANC should surely realise that it is under suspicion due to its history of songs such as “Kill the farmer, kill the boer” and the flagrant denial of the existence of farm murders by amongst others Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa.
From discussions with embassies, visiting MPs from Europe, overseas journalists and digital meetings with agricultural unions from elsewhere in the world, it is evident that the whole world is frowning upon the bizarre disarming of farmers with the amnesty process.
Farmers are especially concerned that their firearms will not be returned to them at rural police stations where systems exist with no capacity, no expertise, no plans and very little motivation.
Only last week the parliamentary portfolio committee exposed the fact that the police had allowed the central firearms register to fall into total disrepair. Yet even in these circumstances the police want to remove self-defence as a motivation for firearm ownership.
Every academic study on this subject over the past two and a half decades; all research by institutes, university and even the state itself; as well as AfriForum’s comprehensive data on farm attacks and farm murders; clearly indicates that a farming family’s ability to survive a farm attack is first and foremost dependent on their preparedness to shoot back and to buy time through self-defence for the neighbourhood watch and perhaps the police to arrive on the scene.
Apart from the fact that the ANC’s conduct makes no sense on an ethical and moral level, it exposes a stance that the world had been afraid of.
Saai will join forces with other organisations that are also running campaigns to uphold law-abiding citizens’ rights to defend our lives, our families and home and hearth while crime statistics are sky-rocketing.
During our campaign we are involving South Africans and friends of South Africans living abroad, as well as embassies, foreign governments and international agencies. Read more about this campaign on Saai’s website. Even better, follow the link http://www.stillnogun.co.za and throw your weight behind the movement!