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.”