The South African Police Service (SAPS) has to pay AfriForum’s legal costs after they turned up unprepared at the Northern Gauteng High Court, where AfriForum’s two applications in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No 2 of 2000) were supposed to have been heard today.
In its first application, AfriForum requests the SAPS to make public the numbers of state-registered firearms that were lost by them or were stolen from them between 2009 and 2014. Preliminary results sets this number at around 6 000 firearms.
In the second application, AfriForum requests the SAPS to provide the latest internal audit report of training within the SAPS to the civil rights organisation. This information will reveal among other the number of operational police officers who are indeed fit to carry firearms.
According to Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety, the SAPS’s legal advice presented themselves at Court unprepared, however, and stated that they had been unaware that the case had been on today’s court roll.
Cameron also says that Judge Hennie de Vos said that the days of failure by the state’s administration to do their job are over. The case was postponed to Wednesday, 24 May 2017 and Judge De Vos ruled that the SAPS should pay AfriForum’s legal costs for today.
“AfriForum is of the opinion that the SAPS is irresponsible in their handling of state-registered firearms, which has a direct impact on the safety of all citizens. This strengthens AfriForum’s initiative to help communities mobilise within the framework of the law to protect themselves and help curb crime,” Cameron concludes.