Stripping police of their guns ‘out of question’ - 21Apr06<br>

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Stripping police of their guns ‘out of question’ - 21Apr06

Postby Rudi » Fri, 2006-04-21 18:39

Stripping police of their guns ‘out of question’
By Derrick Spies Safety and Security Reporter

STRIPPING police and security guards of their guns because of the
high number of private shooting incidents involving official firearms is
“out of the question”, say the police and security industries.
This follows a judgment by Cape High Court Judge Deon van Zyl on
Tuesday in which he said the security industry and police should think
about taking away firearms from their members as they were too
often used to fight personal “wars”.
Van Zyl was speaking during the sentencing of Zamuxolo Dlakavu, a
former ADT security guard, who pleaded guilty to murdering his wife,
claimed culpability for the death of her aunt and pleaded not guilty to
two attempted murders relating to their relatives in Heinz Park,
Mitchell’s Plain, in April, 2004.
Eastern Cape provincial police spokesman Marinda Mills said
removing a policeman’s firearm while expecting them to perform
their day-to-day duties was “out of the question”.
“One must remember that a police member has an ethical and social
obligation to respond to a person in distress, and as such is
technically on call 24 hours a day,” she said.
Mills said police officers’ work also automatically placed them in a
higher risk category.
However, it was not a blanket policy to allow police officials to take
their firearms home. An application had to be submitted and certain
criteria had to be met.
Atlas spokesman and former SAPS operational services provincial
head John Best said it would be unfair to expect people to respond to
an armed robbery without being armed themselves. “If anything, we
are seeing a reversal of this. Even British police are now armed
because of more brazen criminal elements,” he said.
There have been a number of recent shooting incidents in the Eastern
Cape where police and security guards have used their official
firearms against other people in their personal capacity.
These include a shoot-out between two police detectives from
Humewood police station in Mthatha during the local government
elections earlier this year. Last month, a policeman at the Mount
Road police station committed suicide with his firearm.
In November last year, Inspector Werner O’Linsky, who was stationed
at Rocklands police station, charged into the Kabega Park police
station and opened fire on his colleagues.
Owen Maarten, a Coin security guard, shot his wife Rezaka, then
turned the gun on himself in the middle of Makro last September.
In Kimberley yesterday, the persistent crying of a five-month-old
baby led to the discovery of the bodies of a Northern Cape policeman
and his wife, apparently the victims of a family murder, police said.

The bodies of Constable Bevan Meels, 42, and his wife Elize, 39, were
discovered in the bedroom of their house on Tuesday, with gunshot
wounds to the head. The baby was found alive in the man’s arms and
his service pistol was on the scene.
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