- Bheki Cele has reiterated his earlier calls for a gun-free South Africa
- The Police Minister has promised to take his fight to the next level by proposing changes to the law in this regard
- Cele says every gun off the streets is a sign of the programme's success
Police Minister Bheki Cele has promised to intensify his campaign against guns by proposing changes to the Firearms Control Act.
Addressing the media during a visit to a Joburg police station, Cele explained that the current firearms amnesty programme has made immense progress.
Starting in December, the amnesty period has seen 2 000 firearms surrendered, with more set to come until its end in May, reports The South African.
The police have been facing criticism both politically and from the public for failing to properly secure these surrendered weapons.
Corruption within the South African Police Service, along with security concerns, have seen a deep mistrust develop relating to the amnesty programme.
The Police Minister has reassured the nation that steps would be taken against those found to be corrupt:
“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.”
Gun owners wishing to hand over weapons to these police stations will be redirected to suitable precincts.
Cele reiterated his calls to ensure a gun-free nation, but admitted that law enforcement still needs to improve before citizens are safe:
“A single gun 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.”
Briefly.co.za reported that Cele explained why he felt even legally owned firearms were bad news:
“Remember that when we make our murder stats, most of the people in South Africa are shot, even those guns that have been surrendered here, usually they all come as legal firearms and then they get stolen and converted into illegal firearms."
Take a look at the number of firearms surrendered in each province:
- Gauteng – 527 firearms
- Western Cape with – 514 firearms
- KwaZulu-Natal – 309 firearms
- Limpopo – 252 firearms
- Eastern Cape – 189 firearms
- Mpumalanga – 173 firearms
- Free State – 163 firearms
- North West – 91 firearms
- Northern Cape – 48 firearms
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