2009-01-01 : Angry gun owners accuse cops of fraud

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2009-01-01 : Angry gun owners accuse cops of fraud

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2009-04-15 13:57

Cape Argus - Angry gun owners accuse cops of 'fraudulent dealings'

Angry gun owners accuse cops of 'fraudulent dealings'


GUN OWNERS were fighting up to the last minute of the deadline for
South Africa's estimated 1.5 million licensed firearm holders to renew their
licences, with an executive member of Gun Owners of South Africa battling to
lay fraud charges against the police.

But Brett Nortjie said he had been sent from pillar to post in his
quest to see charges brought against the police for their "fraudulent
dealing" with the Firearms Control Act.

Nortjie said in an affidavit: "The criminal conduct complained of
takes place during the SAPS publicity campaigns that accompany the firearm
licence renewal deadlines.

"Supposedly, SAPS spokesmen are informing the public about the process
and requirements of the Act. In reality, they intentionally and fraudulently
conceal from the public Sections 137 through 144 of the Firearms Control Act
of 2000, that provide for the payment of compensation for surrendered

Nortjie's view was that the compensation provisions should have
received equal publicity to the renewal process, and that owners of licensed
firearms were being duped into simply handing over their guns to the police.

Also protesting is Abios Khoele, chairman of the Black Gun Owners'
Association of SA, who has refused to hand over his weapon or renew his

The association charged that the Act was "discriminatory" and designed
to prevent "law-abiding people being enabled to defend themselves from
violent criminals".

When applying for a licence, gun owners had to pay R70 per licence and
R70 for a competency certificate. According to the Act, doors on gun safes
must be at least 11mm thick.

In the city yesterday, gun dealers reported that many owners had opted
to avoid the long queues at police stations and drop their firearms at gun
dealerships instead.

Suburban Guns owner Charles Montgomery said owners' main gripe
appeared to be "all the red tape and too much bureaucracy".

Martin Keightley, manager of City Guns, said he was shocked at the
number of people who had handed their firearms to him.

Police statistics showed that 917 guns were reported lost or stolen
between April last year and February.

Published on the web by Cape Argus on April 1, 2009.
© Cape Argus 2009. All rights reserved.
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