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Speaker Notes by Police Minister General Bheki Cele at the handover of firearms for Firearm Amnesty period hosted in Linden police station; Johannesburg
2020/01/14

JOHANNESBURG; 14 JANUARY 2020

Deputy Minister of the Police, Mr Cassel Mathale(MP);
National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Kehla Sitole;
Deputy National Commissioners present;
Senior Officers Present;
Members of the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good Morning, Sanibonani

We are gathered here this morning on yet another imperative subject in our core business of fighting crime and its remnants.

Ladies and gentlemen when South Africans were on a hectic holiday season; all men and women in blue worked tirelessly over the festive period, to ensure that all festivities are carried out within the parameters of the law.

It is on that score that I want to take this opportunity and thank all members of the SAPS for always responding positively when duty calls.

OVERALL PROGRESS OF AMNESTY

Equally, each day, the men and women in blue seize illegal firearms from brazen criminals terrorizing communities. Firearms remain the enemy of our society and we as the SAPS MUST do all in our powers to protect communities from these illegally acquired weapons.

AMNESTY PERIOD

As you are aware, ladies and gentlemen, I declared the Firearms period to start on the 1st of December last year and it will run through until the end of May 2020. The declaration of this Amnesty period is in the interest of the public and I believe it will make a dent in dealing decisively, with the excess of illegal firearms and unwanted firearms that end up in the wrong hands.

SUCCESSES AMNESTY

To say that the Firearm Amnesty period has kicked off on a good note - would be an understatement! In less than 50 days since the Firearm Amnesty period commenced, a total of 2,266 Firearms have been surrendered to various police stations across all provinces.  These numbers keep on growing daily.

It is clear, South Africans are taking up the call to take part in the amnesty and remove illegal and unwanted firearms off our streets.We want to assure the public that we have strengthened our systems to ensure the safe keeping of all submitted firearms, this will continue beyond the Amnesty period.

PROVINCES BREAKDOWN

The Gauteng province leads the pack with 527 Firearms surrendered so far.

Western Cape: 514

KZN: 309

Eastern Cape:  189

Limpopo: 252

Mpumalanga: 173

Free State: 163

Northern Cape: 48

North West: 91

A total of 31, 382 rounds of ammunition is now in police hands.

HANDOVER FIREARMS

This morning, we are gathered at this police station to receive arms surrendered by Mr Van den Berg. He is one of thousands of South Africans who have taken heed of the SAPS call to present themselves at various police stations and surrender their illegally possessed or unwanted firearms.

We have received a total of 298 firearms from the Johannesburg based arms dealer.

190 handguns

60 rifles

48 shotguns

2984 rounds of ammunition.

BALLISTIC TESTING

All these surrendered arms received will be subjected to ballistic testing, as with all arms that are handed over during the amnesty will be subjected to the amnesty process. But it is important to note that during this amnesty period, there will be NO indemnity for firearms handed over which have been used to commit crime.

LINKED TO CRIMES

A Detective investigative team has been established to investigate cases of firearms linked to crimes. When the amnesty period ends, firearms will be audited for the purpose of destruction.

MAXIMUM PARTICIPATION

While we as the SAPS are encouraged by these growing numbers, I am still calling on maximum participation. I urge you to turn the tide against crime alongside the SAPS and take advantage of the amnesty period.

WARNING TO THOSE WHO DON’T COMPLY

When the Amnesty period lapses in May, rest assured the law will be tough on those who persist on carrying guns that are not licensed.

Zizojika Izinto, we as the SAPS will continue to rid our communities of dangerous arms, while responding positively towards our service delivery agreement of ensuring that the people of South Africa are and feel safe.

Thank you