2009-04-08 : Government violates Bill of Rights

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2009-04-08 : Government violates Bill of Rights

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2009-04-15 14:54

Press Release - 20090408 - Government violates Bill of Rights


Gun Owners of South Africa (Gosa) are disgusted by the gun control zealots'
wall of silence and double standards regarding violations of the Bill of Rights,
which are part and parcel of the implementation of the Firearms Control Act.

When a gun raid goes wrong and a museum curator is blinded, the gun
prohibitionists shamefully feign ignorance.

That the raid on the South African National Museum of Military History in
Saxonwold was a Firearms Control Act (FCA) publicity stunt is beyond

On November 3, 2005 Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula told a
parliamentary briefing on the Firearms Control Act that tanks confiscated in
a raid on the SA National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg, had
been used shortly before the seizures.

Nqakula said "soft mud" had been found on some of the vehicles removed from
the building in January 2005.

What section of the Firearms Control Act authorises the arrest of a female
museum curator for talking too much? When are we going to see an
investigation into the conduct of the arresting officer or the presence of
Pallo Jordan?

Gun Owners of South Africa say this double standard stinks.

Irreparable harm has been done to the Constitution and the rule of law. The
CODESA negotiators tried to ensure that the police would never again be able
to subvert the Constitutional order, or substitute their own judgement, for
the provisions of the Constitution.

The Central Firearms Register instituted a de facto, unlawful gun ban 6
years ago. The Central Firearms Register has arrogated to itself the power
to decide whether the public are competent to own property, and thereafter,
whether or not to license the public to own property.

Rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights - like rights to freedom of
association, life, equality, movement and many others - are routinely
violated. The right to informational privacy does not exist if you are a gun

According to Section 195 of the Constitution, the basic values and
principles governing the public administration include a high standard of
professional ethics; efficient, economic and effective use of resources; the
public administration must be accountable and transparency must be fostered
by providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information.

These ideals have been completely corrupted by the gun control zealots.

According to Section 33 of the Constitution everyone has the right to
administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.
Timeframes of 3-6 months (after 6 months applications for review prescribe)
are mentioned in the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act of 2000.

FF Plus Spokesperson on Safety and Security Pieter Groenewald issued a
media release characterising the implementation of the Firearms Control Act
as "total chaos". "Only 604 928 applications for competency certificates and
881 136 applications for renewals of firearm licenses were received in the
period from 2004 to the end of January 2009.....Only 38,8% of applications
for the renewal of licenses have been processed in full and only 55,9% of
the applications for competency certificates" Groenewald said.

The license renewal process - due to be repeated every five years - is now
backlogged to the tune of 3 years.

Implementation of the Firearms Control Act has been a spectacular failure.
GOSA has warned for many years that the FCA is un-implementable - there is
the proof; but the farce continues.

The CFR continues the charade of implementation and licence renewal aimed at
misleading the public. And those charged with oversight of the process, in
terms of Section 55 of the Constitution, lie to protect cushy jobs.

In 600 000 cases the SAPS have extorted licensed firearms from the elderly
without informing them that they have the right to apply for compensation
for those firearms under S 137 of the FCA.

GOSA has, therefore, brought criminal charges of fraud and theft by false
pretences as well as charges under the Intimidation Act of 1982 against
senior SAPS officers and spokespersons.

How one stores one's property in the privacy of one's home is no business of
the state. In Case v Minister of Safety and Security, the Constitutional
Court held: "What erotic material I may choose to keep within the privacy of
my home, and only for my personal use there, is nobody's business but mine.
It is certainly not the business of society or the state."

Why do gun owners not enjoy the same privacy rights as those who own pornography?

The SAPS have done hundreds of thousands of 'safe-inspections' in violation
of Section 14 of the Constitution and the privacy protections derived from
the Constitutional Court's judgements in Mistry v Interim National Medical
and Dental Council of South Africa and Others and Magajane v Chairperson
North West Gambling Board and Others. Those SAPS members ought to be
charged with crimen iniuria. Furthermore, these are illegal searches under
Section 28 of the Criminal Procedure Act! Neighbours are also questioned
and acquainted with the gun owners' intimate personal details.

Go to the Constitutional Court, you say!

Why should that financial burden fall on gun owners?

According to section 2 of the Constitution: 'This Constitution is the
supreme law of the Republic; law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid,
and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled."

In Fose v Minister of Safety and Security 1997 (3) SA 786 (CC)
Constitutional Court Judge Kriegler wrote that the supremacy clause in the
Constitution automatically made any unconstitutional law or conduct a
nullity. The consequence of constitutional supremacy is that such laws or
conduct are invalid. Invalidity follows as a matter of law, not because the
CC says so.

Parliament must act in accordance with, and within the limits of the
Constitution when making law, according to section 44(4) of the

It was President Thabo Mbeki's, not the gun owners, responsibility to refer
the Firearms Control Bill to the Constitutional Court for a decision on the
Bill's constitutionality under section 84(2)(c) of the Constitution.

The gun prohibitionists have to start putting the nation's interests - not least
in having an efficient administration that respects the Constitution and the
rule of law - above narrow self-interest.

Implementation of the FCA has to be audited, in order to get an idea of the
damage that has been wrought.

For further information, please contact GOSA Executive Committee Member
Brett Nortje on 082 700 1244
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
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