Police watchdog to monitor gun losses

Johannesburg - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has instructed the police inspectorate to "closely monitor" police gun management amidst soaring weapon losses in the service.

"In addition to various corrective measures which we are currently implementing, I have instructed the police management to ensure that each time a police officer loses his or her firearm, there must be a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the loss," Mthethwa said in a statement on Wednesday.

"To this end, I have now instructed that the Police Inspectorate be tasked with the responsibility of conducting such investigations."

Mthethwa said the ministry was looking into a situation where no more firearms could be issued to an officer pending the outcome of a thorough investigation by the inspectorate.

"This investigation could lead to criminal charges and or dismissal from the SAPS, as well as the person being declared incompetent to carry a firearm," he said.

Mthethwa has told Parliament that 1 497 police officers who lost their guns since 2005 had been issued with new firearms.

He said there were now constant inspections, assessments and interventions at various levels of command to ensure prevent losses.

"Unless we begin to zoom into the issue of firearm safety, both by police and civilians, we will still be faced with a challenge of legally-registered firearms falling into the wrong hands of the criminals," Mthethwa said.

"That is precisely why we are looking, on a daily basis, at measures to improve this area. We need to know where our firearms are, who is in charge of them and under what circumstances are they being utilised."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.57
+1.0%
Rand - Pound
19.66
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.71
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.15
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,853.66
0.0%
Silver
22.12
0.0%
Palladium
2,076.50
0.0%
Platinum
956.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
119.43
+1.7%
Top 40
63,883
+1.4%
70,486
+1.4%
Resource 10
76,948
+0.6%
Industrial 25
76,115
+1.3%
Financial 15
16,257
+2.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE