Jail threat to Cele

2010-08-07 00:00

PRETORIA — A business consultant is asking the North Gauteng High Court to send national police commissioner General 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” in not abiding by a court order that was 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 that Korb should have been informed before or on April 10 whether his licence application was successful — 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 lawyer, that his licence has not yet been approved.

Korb said he did everything within his power to bring the summons to 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, Pretoria, police station.

When he checked in mid-2006, he was told he hadn’t paid the necessary fees. Korb said he has since repeatedly submitted copies of receipts to 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 on 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 that was to investigate problems with the execution of the Firearms Act — and which Nell was invited to address.

Korb said he was under the impression that his case would be taken up by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa 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.

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