It is ironic that on June 22nd – the same day that various organisations concerned with the government’s plans to disarm private citizens met on an online firearms summit hosted by the DA, the Tyefu police station in Peddie was ransacked by criminals who helped themselves to an unknown number of State-owned guns – this theft according to the Daily Dispatch. In 2017 somewhat 30 police firearms were stolen from the same station and early in 2021 police members were locked up by community members who were frustrated with bad service delivery.
“With less than 10 days before public comment is due to close on arguably the most repressive piece of legislation that South Africa has seen since 1994, we are provided with another perfect example of the double standards of the SAPS leadership and the inability of the State to look after its own guns. Despite solid proof of tens of thousands of State-owned guns stolen and lost, ending up in criminal hands, despite the sale of guns in the care of SAPS to gangs, despite the handing of guns to criminals by the State Security Agency, Minister Cele still lays the blame for guns in criminal hands at the feet of lawful gun owners,” said Jonathan Deal, national coordinator of Safe Citizen.
“In fact, on SABC shortly after the draft Firearms Amendment Bill was released to the public Minister Cele stated that ‘more people are killed by licensed guns in the hands of their owners than by unlicensed guns in criminal hands,’ continued Deal.
Ian Cameron, Head of Safety and Media Relations at Safe Citizen observed “We note that SAPS and the anti-firearm cabal is quiet on these incidents in contrast to regular TV appearances and media statements when it comes to lawful private gun owners. Safe Citizen is presently pursuing formal applications with SAPS, the Presidency and the Civilian Secretariat in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act so that we can make sense of the so-called ‘research’ – that Minister Cele told SABC – has informed the development of the amendment bill.”
“The Bill is vigorously opposed by South Africans from all quarters, and we are determined to defeat it. It cannot be passed into legislation – private citizens in one of the most violent countries in the world have a right to defend themselves lawfully and effectively,” concluded Cameron.