Ricochet News

Report shows thousands of SAPS officers are not certified to carry guns, yet they do!

Oct 20, 2017
Report shows thousands of SAPS officers are not certified to carry guns, yet they do!

A reply to a Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary question has revealed that thousands of uncertified South African Police Service (SAPS) officers continue to carry firearms. The reply also details how approximately 11 000 officers do not have competency certificates.

"The DA will ask Parliamentary questions to find out how many of these officers unlawfully fired their gun and ended up injuring or killing a civilian," said Dianne Kohler Barnard - DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police.

Full stats below:

Provinces

(ii)  Number of Officers who do not have competency certificates

(b)  Number of officers who are not yet competent, but still carrying firearms

Eastern Cape

1 273

264

Free State

894

334

Gauteng

3 481

940

KwaZulu-Natal

1 107

125

Limpopo

1 009

543

Mpumalanga

1 117

664

North West

975

308

Northern Cape

565

170

Western Cape

913

125

Total

11 334

3 473

 

"SAPS issue firearm permits to police officials only if they can prove that they are fit and proper and that they successfully completed training to safely handle a firearm," described Barnard.

"Therefore, SAPS have failed to ensure that thousands of police officials are in fact fit to have and use their guns. This not only puts the South African public in danger but also the police officials themselves.

"Anyone carrying a firearm without a license faces up to 15 years in prison."

She said that the police are already grossly under-trained throughout the country.

"For thousands of officers, who are meant to be custodians of our safety and security, to continue to carry firearms while not being properly certified, only increases danger for ordinary South Africans," explained Barnard.

"It is high time that the SAPS transform into the professional police service required to fight crime so that the people of South Africa can feel safe in their homes and on the streets."