It is unacceptable that out of the 33 535 police officers in Gauteng, only 61% were declared competent to use a firearm during the 2019/20 financial year. This is seriously alarming as police officers are supposed to be fully equipped to maintain law and order in the province.
By being unable to properly handle a firearm, the police officer not only endangers his or her own life, but also the lives of the community.
The Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000) requires police officers to submit a firearms competency certificate every five years. If a member fails to submit this certificate, he or she is compelled to do only office work, but in some cases, the station commander may issue a directive exempting the said officer.
The FF Plus will request the Gauteng Police commissioner, Lt.-Gen. Elias Mawela, to launch an investigation into the cause of the large number of police members who are apparently not competent to handle a firearm.
At present, there is one police officer for every 383 citizens, while the international figure is one to every 250.
The Gauteng police service cannot allow police officers to do office work because they are not competent to handle a firearm, especially not if their incompetency is due to failure to comply with legislation, and also not while there is such a great need for better policing to protect the public.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Kobus Hoffman on FF Plus