Gun Friendly South Africa slammed Minister of Police Bheki Cele and the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) for “failing” to protect its own country’s citizens.
“SAPS have ill-treated lawful gun owners for more than ten years. Now you tell us you are ‘going to fight very hard’ to take away our self-defence firearms. No Mr. Cele, No!” the organization said in a statement.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and SAPS has come under fire over recent weeks following a numbers of brutality cases against members of the public being reported.
Gun Friendly South Africa said the public suffered under maladministration and illegal treatment by the police despite South Africa being one of the countries with the strictest gun laws in the world.
“You ignore high court orders that forbid disabling the SAPS computer systems for renewals, raid the homes of private citizens to illegally confiscate guns and refuse licences to completely qualified applicants.”
The organization also accused the Cele of appealing every court decision against SAPS.
“You ignore service standards set by the police portfolio committee, harass lawful gun dealers, interpret and amend the law and regulations to suit your agenda and draft irrational directives.
“You also encourage animosity and distrust between lawful citizens and the SAPS staff who are charged with serving us. Covid-19 has shown us what you think about our civil rights, and the public sees you for the bully that you are,” the organisation added.
Gun Friendly South Africa continued: “You have made this a personal fight. We will expose your trampling of our civil rights.”
The organization said it will expose SAPS’ mistreatment to the media, public and the police portfolio committee in parliament.
“They will receive weekly reports of abuse and maladministration and we have every intention to name and shame the offenders. Mr. Cele, you have pushed us to the brink.
“A government that cannot protect its own people has no right to deny that people the right to defend themselves,” Gun Friendly South Africa concluded.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Act, which gives powers to parliament to suspend or remove the head of Ipid.
In 2016, the Constitutional Court declared parts of the Ipid Act invalid and unconstitutional as they gave the minister of police absolute powers to suspend or remove the head of Ipid without a parliamentary process.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) had accused Cele of not willing to surrender his powers over Ipid when it comes to suspension and removal of its head.