2011-03-09: Police have 'lost' 20 429 weapons

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2011-03-09: Police have 'lost' 20 429 weapons

Postby GOSA » Wed, 2011-03-09 15:41

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/ ... s-20110309

Police have 'lost' 20 429 weapons

2011-03-09 10:49


Lizel Steenkamp, Die Burger

Cape Town - The police force admitted on Tuesday that a lack of discipline and weapon control was "worrying", after it came to light that police had "lost" 20 429 weapons since April 2004.

Top management couldn't say in Parliament on Tuesday how many officials had been criminally prosecuted, disciplined or fired due to the losses.

MPs from the ANC and opposition parties reacted angrily and said it was unacceptable that citizens were prosecuted for losing their private weapons while police officials got off scot-free.

MPs even accused the police of playing in part in the country's high crime rate.

Licence

According to statistics presented by Lieutenant-General Gary Kruser, head of procurement services, to the portfolio committee on police, only 4 810 weapons were found again in the same time period.

Top management couldn't come up with answers when committee members questioned them about what happened to officials who lost their weapons.

"The Firearms Control Act puts a huge responsibility on citizens but an official can lose one weapon, a second and a third weapon and still keep his firearm licence. But if I lose my weapon, it is another matter," said Annelize van Wyk of the ANC.

She said the conditions were much stricter for civilians than for police officials. "If you take into account all the losses, police are responsible for the increase in illegal firearms."

ANC MP and committee chairperson Sindi Chikunga ascribed the losses to a "laissez-faire attitude" in the police, "because I know if I lose my weapon, I will get another one".

Murders

"I am convinced that many murders are committed with police weapons."

The DA's Dianne Kohler Barnard said she wouldn't be surprised if officials sold their weapons to criminals.

Pieter Groenewald of the FF+ wanted to know how many officials had been criminally prosecuted and how many had competency certificates.

MPs believed police officials should be responsible for paying for weapons they had lost and that they should be punished.

Police national personnel head, Lieutenant General Magda Stander, admitted the lack of discipline and firearm control was "indeed worrying".


- Die Burger
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