Gun owner wants Cele jailed
Sonja Carstens, Beeld
Pretoria – A business consultant is asking the North Gauteng High Court to send national police commissioner Bheki Cele, to prison for 30 days, for the alleged disregard of a court order to make a decision about his firearm licence.
Nicolaas Korb, from Irene, Centurion, alleges in court papers that the registrar of firearms and Cele were “purposely or alternatively grossly negligent” by not abiding by a court order issued by Judge Natvarial Ranchod on March 2.
According to court documents, Cele is the registrar. The summons was served on the registrar’s office on March 10.
Ranchod ordered that the registrar has a further month’s grace period to consider Korb’s application for a licence for a .22 rifle.
This means Korb should have been informed before or on April 10 whether his application had been successful or not – four years after it was submitted.
According to the documents, Sylvia Khumalo of the central firearm register’s call centre on Wednesday confirmed to George Nell, Korb’s legal representative, that his licence has not yet been approved.
According to Korb he did everything within his power to bring the summons under the attention of the registrar as well as Cele, but there was still “a refusal and/or failure” to comply with a “simple order”.
The court documents state he initially applied for the licence on December 14 2005 at the Lyttleton police station.
Start all over
When he checked in middle-2006, he was told he hadn’t paid the necessary fees. According to Korb he has since repeatedly submitted copies of receipts with the police.
On June 21 2007 Christel Viljoen told Korb they couldn’t find any evidence of his payment, and that he had to follow the process from the beginning again.
He refused to do so and asked Nell to at least take up the matter with the minister.
According to court documents a letter was served to the registrar of firearms by hand on September 11 last year, in which he is told to give Korb’s application final consideration.
Nell also served the letter on the office of the minister of police on September 25 last year.
In a last-ditch attempt to get “the necessary reaction”, Korb sent the sheriff with a copy of the court order to serve on Jaco Bothma, head of the central firearm register.
The case was also repeatedly discussed with Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane, secretary of police.
A copy of the court order was handed over on June 24 to a task team which was to investigate problems with the execution of the Firearms Act and which Nell was invited to address.
According to Korb, he was under the impression that his case would be taken up by Nathi Mthethwa, minister of police, to prevent “possible embarrassment” for the minister and the chief of police.
“Even this attempt, has not produced a positive reaction yet,” according to Korb’s statement.