May 28, 2017

POPCRU want probe into apartheid arms

Union blames the high rate of gun related deaths in South Africa to unaccounted arms distributed by apartheid administrators

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) wants investigations done on apartheid weapons handed over to the democratic government post 1994, citing they could be behind the worrisome gun related deaths haunting the country.

The union is also demanding that the probe includes weapons that were in the hands of the apartheid security personnel before 1994 under the leadership of former police commissioners Johan van der Merwe who was in charge post the first democratic elections and George Fivaz who took over from him in 1995 up to 2000.

This was contained in the union’s communiqué to the media yesterday wherein it expressed concern over gun related deaths and the country’s standing globally, which puts South Africa second to the United States of America when it comes to such deaths.

“We call on neighbours, girlfriends, boyfriends, relatives and communities to come forward with information regarding any firearms people around them have as some might be illegal, which in most cases are used to even kill their loved ones,” said Popcru.

The union noted it was about time that apartheid administrators declare how many of these weapons were handed over to the democratic government led by the African National Congress and how many were handed over to dissidents groups with the aim of derailing the national democratic revolution through a civil war.

“Popcru calls for an investigation into the amount and types of firearms handed over from the apartheid police to the democratically elected government after 1994, and the records of weapons handed over to certain groupings of the populace with the aim to trigger a civil war and undermine negotiations for a peaceful transition at the time,” the union contended.

At present, Popcru said, South Africa stands has an average of 34 deaths per 100 000 people through the barrel of the gun.

Statistics show that in South Africa only 13 out of every 100 firearms were legally acquired, the organisation added
Currently Mzansi is ranked 48 out of 175 countries in relation to the number of registered firearms per country.

“This very fact indicates that most murders and other associated illegal criminal activities are committed by firearms that are either stolen, come through our borders illegally and/or form part of those distributed by the apartheid police, which are to this day not accounted for,” argued the union.

Popcru said part of the growing problem of firearms in the country is the private security industry which is still unregulated.

“This industry has three times more firearms and personnel than the police and army combined,” it noted, adding that the industry is also dominantly foreign-owned, something the union said proves that the security of the country is under threat.

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