AfriForum’s legal team today once again directed a letter to Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, to enquire about the possible extension of the firearm amnesty period.
This follows after AfriForum also directed letters to Cele and Gen. Khehla Sithole, National Police Commissioner, on 25 and 30 March 2020 in which the organisation expressed its concern regarding the fact that firearm owners couldn’t make use of the amnesty period during level 5 of the lockdown. Cele however said on 22 April 2020 in a letter to AfriForum that he is considering approaching parliament for an extension of the amnesty period. Lt Gen Moeketsi David Sempe confirmed it shortly thereafter in a directive.
The amnesty period was announced on 27 October 2019 and is valid from 1 December 2019 until 31 May 2020. Firearm owners who are in possession of unlicensed firearms are among others afforded the opportunity during this time to hand in the firearms at their nearest police station without being prosecuted therefore.
“People who want to make use of the amnesty period ought to be afforded the opportunity to properly do so. It was and still is a challenge in the isolation period to approach experts to obtain clarity regarding what precisely the amnesty holds for a person wanting to make use of it and what steps need to be taken should he/she want to apply again for a firearm that is handed in at the police station,” says Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s Legal and Risk Manager for Community Safety.