How Would Amending The Firearms Control Act Help South Africa?

Recent gun-related incidents - one of which resulted in a prominent death - have forced South Africa to fiercely shine the spotlight on gun control.

The shooting at an ATM in Mpumalanga of ANC MP Jackson Mthembu, the fatal shooting of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates Captain Senzo Meyiwa and a helicopter-led high-speed chase on the N1 led to a shooting as well - incidents that have forced South Africa to have frank conversations about the state of gun ownership in this country.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has since called for the amendment of the Firearms Control Act, 2000.

The Director of Ndifuna Ukwazi, Zackie Achmat has weighed in on an IT company that was awarded a multi-million rand contract by the Police Ministry in 2003 to develop the Central Firearms Registry - a facility which would be a comprehensive database of legal gunfire owners in South Africa. Now 10 years - and R350 million later according to Achmat - this facility still doesn't exist:

The first thing to remember is that under Commissioner Jackie Selebi at the time, a register was commissioned and the company that won that tender was Waymark. The tender was meant to cost R92 million – we ended up paying more than R350 million, but they were going to charge us R450 million. They got the tender in 2003 and it was meant to be completed in 2006 – by the time the Auditor-General released the report in January last year, more than R350 million had been paid and nothing had been handed over, the project wasn’t complete. What the Auditor-General didn’t do was name the people who are responsible.

Speaking to 702's John Robbie, Achmat further named the winning IT company - Waymark Infotech - as one that's also responsible for other violations elsewhere on the continent:

Waymark has a very interesting history. Not only has it not given back the money – and I would go as far as saying I believe they’ve taken public money and run away with it – they are also on the UN ban list for companies not to do business with because they’ve rigged elections in 5 African countries.

Contract disputes notwithstanding, the much-needed database still doesn't exist. Achmat expresses his frustrations:

This contract (for the development of the Central Firearms Registry) has been under 3 police commissioners – Selebi, Cele and now Phiyega. Finally, the Commissioner (Phiyega) tells us the contract has been cancelled and that Waymark are taking them to court.

One of Waymark Infotech's directors, Hennie Meeding, later refuted Achmats claims, stating:

It’s absolutely not true, there is no UN black list for so-called vote-rigging or whatever the term is that’s generally used. We’ve read some allegations on Wikipedia that we’re blacklisted. We don’t have an direct communication from the UN or any party indicating this information.

What does Meeding make of the contract for the firearm registry?:

You are correct, we had the contract, but the SAPS suspended the contract we had. We only confirmed about a year ago that we had a contract. We are also a bit confused with that whole situation. The system is not in place, 10 years later, because the police service saw fit not to deploy parts of the system that were ready to be rolled out. A lot of changes were made in terms of the original specifications.

On the issue of the voluntary handing in of firearms, Redi Tlhabi had this to say before opening the lines:

Where do the criminals get their guns from? If you haven’t identified the source, how do you come up with a policy? If the criminals are stealing the guns from law-abiding citizens and the source is the law-abiding citizen, then sure, you’re on to something. There’d be logic in saying ‘let’s disarm the nation’, because that’s where the criminals are getting the guns. But if there’s some sophisticated cartel somewhere, some nefarious source, that has not been identified – disarming law abiding citizens is not going to close supply from that source.


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
‘The shape of water is a magical monster movie with a love story’ - Edmunds

‘The shape of water is a magical monster movie with a love story’ - Edmunds

Described as an unconventional love story, film critic Gayle Edmunds shares her views on the movie, ‘The Shape of Water’.

[LISTEN] 27 for Freedom Festival celebrates Madiba's legacy

[LISTEN] 27 for Freedom Festival celebrates Madiba's legacy

Organiser of 27 for Freedom festival talks about celebrating Madiba’s 100th birthday by using arts & sports to unite the nation.

‘With the kind of job I have, I need to be at church regularly’ – Herman Mashaba

‘With the kind of job I have, I need to be at church regularly’ – Herman Mashaba

In this profile interview, Mayor Herman Mashaba talks about the painful nature of politics, and life growing up in a village.

Certified financial planner explains the magic behind the number 72

Certified financial planner explains the magic behind the number 72

‘Buying something at a price today, it falls tomorrow, then it’s up the next day - that’s not investing, that’s speculating.'

‘The reality is that schools are full’ - Paddy Attwell

‘The reality is that schools are full’ - Paddy Attwell

Spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Education, Paddy Attwell chats to Africa about combating the schooling crises.

[LISTEN] How Capetonians can stay hydrated during the drought

[LISTEN] How Capetonians can stay hydrated during the drought

Water is a scarce commodity that can be considered a precious resource. Without water, the human brain would deteriorate.

Popular articles
Signal jammers and other devices confiscated at China Mall

Signal jammers and other devices confiscated at China Mall

Several communications devices were confiscated from businesses in a raid by Icasa at China Mall on Wednesday.

Trump confirms his first visit to Africa

Trump confirms his first visit to Africa

United States President Donald Trump has disclosed his first stop on an African visit.

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Michiel le Roux speaks about the fascinating story behind the little bank that has the Big 4 shaking in their boots.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will pilot a new funding model in 2017. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana explains.