2008-04-25 : Zim guns will kill us.

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2008-04-25 : Zim guns will kill us.

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2008-05-16 11:47

Donald Mogotsi, News24 User

I am profoundly worried by recent reports that the crumbling Mugabe regime
hasprocured arms, considering that our poor northern neighbour is teetering
on the brink of civil war, with tensions at a boiling point.

It is correctly claimed that the Mugabe regime intends arming the notorious
war veterans and opprobrium Zanu-PF known for violence and intimidation of
the opposition MDC.

I'm beginning to live in fear of the future. Already we have violent crime
commissioned by heavily armed ruthless criminals in our country who kill
with impunity. I am afraid arms headed for Zimbabwe could in the near future
find their way to South Africa and land in the hands of depraved

We have made good progress in regard to curbing gun proliferation and
circulation. In the past we have had amnesty for all citizens to hand in
legal and illegal firearms with no questions asked. The Gun Free South
Africa had also contributed profoundly in this regard. The enactment of the
Firearms Control Act, a comprehensive and effective system of firearms
control has born fruits, and we are signatories to the Bamako Declaration, a
UN sanctioned initiative.

In the 90s we saw an increase of heavy machine guns crossing into our
border. They were mostly brought in the country by liberation movements
during the height of apartheid and some Frelimo fighters from impoverished
Mozambique and ZANLA in search of greener pastures. These heavy machines
were in the form of Scorpions and respected Russian AK 47, nicknamed a
weapon of liberation.

Guns away

Unfortunatetly, these arms got in the wrong hands in our country as they
were sold for as little as R300. Local gangs teamed with well-trained former
guerrillas - some of whom received military training in the former Soviet
Union and other countries that supported our liberation movements around the
world. Banks were hit hard, trucks transporting millions became soft targets
as they were heavily armed with automatic weapons compared to security
guards who carry ordinary rifles.

Collen Chauke, a witty trained Umkhondo we Sizwe fighter, notorious heist
kingpin masterminded six bloody heists. I still have vivid memories of the
Bronkhorstspruit cash in transit heist in which R17.4m was taken. Innocent
lives were lost. The poor security guards could not match the fire power of
the heavy handed heists gangs,

Another example was of a police van based at Letlhabile Police station. It
was on its way to Mabopane, I think, when it suddenly came across a cash in
transit heist in progress. It hastily made a U-turn to the police station
several kilometres away. The police in the van at the time were derided and
later charged with dereliction duty. The police in their defence contented
that there was no way they could have intervened as they possessed less fire
power than the gang.

The never ending taxi violence is in most cases fought using heavy machinery
acquired from foreign nationals.

To end off, we must, all of us genuinely committed to the eradication of
conflicts in Africa supports efforts by SA Litigation Centre, Mozambique's
refusal for the ship to enter its waters and other efforts by peace loving
people of the world.
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
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