Mthethwa slams gun body over R3,2bn suit
MINISTER of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, has fired back at the Black Gun Owners Association, which is planning to sue him for billions of rands.
Mthethwa on Saturday lambasted the association over its intention to sue the government for R3,2billion.
Association chairperson Abios Khoele said on Friday it would sue the government to compensate for jobs lost since the Firearms Control Act came into effect six years ago.
According to Khoele the act, which requires that people who apply for firearm licences undergo a competency test, “is disarming Black people”.
“Before the end of this month our court papers will be served on the minister. This new act is not working and is against black people,” Khoele said.
But Mthethwa rubbished Khoele’s claims.
“Instead of marginalising themselves along racial barriers, this organisation should look at ways to integrate their programmes with the government’s,” Mthethwa said.
“We urge them to support this ministry’s ongoing campaign to promote awareness towards responsible firearms-ownership.
“When the ministry promulgates any firearms legislation some of the aspects that are looked into include age, purposes for which the firearm is sought and one’s mental state to own such a firearm.
“The issue of race should not be posed as the key determiner in this case.”
But Khoele complained about the costs involved. He said to be a licensed gun owner in South Africa an applicant had to pay R1000 for gun training.
The applicant had to buy a safe, and then the gun.
“Only once you have bought the gun can you go to the police to apply for your licence and that costs R210.
“Then you must wait five years to hear if your application is successful. If you are turned down you are left with a gun you cannot use and that you must hand to the police,” Khoele said.
He claimed the Central Firearms Registry refused to issue black people with licences without even giving reasons for its attitude.
“In letters they send to applicants rejecting their applications all they say is that they must find alternative means to protect themselves,” Khoele said.
“We, as a gun-owners organisation, want those alternative means unpacked.”