‘Make sure guns are kept safe’ — Phiyega

2015-07-14 06:00

MOST of the guns that are in the hands of criminals have been lost are lost by private owners, according to National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

Phiyega was addressing the media in Estcourt on Saturday at the launch of the Amangwe police station.

Deputy Minister of Police Makhotso Magdeline Sotyu curtly told journalists that a panel that included her, Phiyega and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu would only take questions from journalists relating to the launch of the police station.

“Most guns are lost by private owners. Others are stolen from government departments that are allowed to carry guns.

“Many other guns are also coming through our borders and we have a problem with the proliferation of weapons.

“You can help us by making sure that guns are kept safe,” said Phiyega responding to a question about the abundance of guns in KwaZulu-Natal.

The police recently destroyed 14 382 guns and ammunition, about 3 000 of these came from KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking about the Amangwe police station, Phiyega said a year ago it was a dilapidated disgrace that made it hard for police officers to do their jobs.

“The station commander had no office. She would share the space with those we had arrested. We found some officers were sharing a chair. There were two desks, but they were sharing a chair.”

Phiyega said the station was one of many they would deliver be delivering to communities across the country as part of improving service delivery.

She warned police officers at the station that there would be no excuses not to work, as they had been provided with all the necessary equipment.

Mchunu said he was impressed. by the buildings.

“When we first came to visit this police station, there was absolutely nothing that even suggested that this was a police station.”

He said it was even difficult to discipline the officers when the community complained that the police were not doing their jobs.

“We would think about disciplining them, but at the same time we would look where they worked,” he said.

The station, which took a year to build, cost about R7 million and will service the Loskop community.

The upgrade included refurbished offices, holding cells, ablution facilities, community service centre, perimeter fence, plumbing and electricity upgrades, paving, carports, CCTV system and new office furniture

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