Firearms compensation appeal in court

2012-11-21 22:16
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Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal will hear an appeal on Thursday on compensation for firearms surrendered to police.

The Justice Alliance of SA (Jasa) said the matter affected tens of thousands of citizens and millions of rand in compensation was at stake.

It relates to 2009, when the Western Cape High Court gave the minister for safety and security 90 days to establish guidelines for the payment of compensation.

At issue are firearms forfeited or surrendered to the State in certain circumstances as contemplated in section 137(5) of the Firearms Control Act (FCA).

The high court held that a failure on the minister’s part to set guidelines would be unlawful and inconsistent with the Constitution.

Guidelines disputed


The matter returned to court in 2010, when Jasa alleged that the minister’s guidelines did not comply with the earlier court order and with the specific section of the Firearms Control Act.

Jasa contended that paragraph two of the guidelines was a refusal to pay compensation, not a guideline.

However, this time the court ruled that guns voluntarily surrendered and then destroyed by the State did not attract compensation.

Jasa said this ruling had done a huge injustice to those firearm owners who were encouraged to hand in their firearms and who were presented with a form to apply for compensation.

The appeal, by Jasa, to the SCA was against this last ruling.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police
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