GUN FREE SOUTH AFRICA CONDEMNS ARMS SCANDAL IN WHICH CORRUPT POLICEMEN ALLEGEDLY SUPPLY ARMS AND AMMUNITION HANDED IN DURING AMNESTY TO CRIMINALS
Background to Media Statement: On Thursday, 22 May 2014 police raided the Norwood home of Emma and Mark Shmukler-Tishko, seizing an arms cache that included R1 rifles, R4 rifles, R5 rifles, AK-47 rifles and approximately 300 handguns. During the couple's court appearance yesterday (3 June 2014), prosecutor Talita Louw revealed that some of the firearms in the cache had been handed in to the police for destruction during a national firearms amnesty in 2010, but rather than being destroyed these guns were stolen and sold to criminals allegedly by corrupt police officials (see report in The Times).
Gun Free South Africa condemns in the strongest possible terms the alleged theft by corrupt police officials of guns handed in for destruction. We call for a complete investigation into how firearms handed in by the public during the 2010 national firearms amnesty have been found in an arms cache discovered in Norwood last month; for every person found guilty of involvement to face the full might of the law as a warning to others; and for every oversight body responsible for monitoring policing in South Africa, including police management, parliament and the Civilian Secretariat of Police, to ensure that systems aimed at safeguarding guns held by the police are implemented.
Internationally and in South Africa there is recognition that one of the most effective ways to reduce gun crime is to reduce the number of guns in circulation.
Says Alan Storey, Gun Free South Africa's spokesperson:
When gun owners handed their guns to the police during the 2010 national firearms amnesty, they trusted the police to destroy these guns. The public played their part - they handed their guns in to the police for destruction. By not destroying these guns, the police failed the public and South Africa as a whole.