More South Africans are murdered with knives, sharp objects than firearms

Opinion by FF Plus

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More South Africans are murdered with knives, sharp objects than firearms
More South Africans are murdered with knives, sharp objects than firearms

In the past three financial years (from 2015/16), more people in South Africa were murdered with knives and other sharp objects than with firearms. And on top of that, the police service has no record of how many of these firearms were legal and how many illegal.

This information was gleaned from the answer provided by the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, in response to an official parliamentary question posed by the FF Plus concerning the matter.

In response to the question of how many people were murdered with firearms and how many were murdered with knives and other sharp objects over the last three financial years, the Minister said that 20 907 people were murdered with knives and other sharp objects in comparison to the 17 914 who were murdered with firearms.

During this period, 58 025 murders were committed in South Africa. The Minister was unable to answer the question of how many of the firearms that were used to commit these crimes were legal firearms and how many were illegal. According to him, the crime administrative system cannot distinguish between legal and illegal firearms.

Saying that the crime administrative system cannot distinguish between legal and illegal firearms is a poor excuse and is unacceptable. The current and former Ministers of Police continually alleged that legal firearm owners contribute to violent crime and that most murders are committed with firearms.

Now the Minister admits that it is not true, thus, he owes the legal firearm owners in South Africa an apology.

The statement recently made by Bheki Cele, at the destruction of firearms at ArcelorMittal in Vereeniging, that it would be better if private citizens have no weapons in the future and that only the police and soldiers should have access to firearms was not well thought through seeing as he made this statement based on the myth that most murders are committed with firearms.

The Minister admits that illegal firearms are a big problem, but illegal firearms are increasing due to illegal arms trafficking and the theft of firearms at police offices and other state institutions. The Minister must provide the number of firearms that were stolen from state institutions and the number that were stolen from private owners. He must also indicate how many illegal firearms there are due to illegal arms trafficking.

The latest crime statistics serve as proof that the police does not have crime, and in particular violent crime, under control and, therefore, the police is failing to do its constitutional duty to protect the people of South Africa and their possessions.

If the state does not protect you, you surely must have the right to protect yourself and your family by any means possible, including owning a firearm for the sake of self-defence. This is also a common right that everyone is entitled to.

The disarming of the citizenry will benefit only criminals and promote crime, which will increase drastically.

The arms industry, and in particular the game industry in South Africa, that contributes more than R10 billion to our economy will be destroyed.

The FF Plus will do everything in its power to keep fighting back against the possible disarming of the public by defending and ensuring our constitutional right to own and use firearms.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Dr Pieter Groenewald on FF Plus

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