Firearms compensation appeal in court

2012-11-21 22:16

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.

  • BulletProof. - 2012-11-22 05:31

    Yes, my gun is running free in the South Afican locations and unlicensed.

      piet.snot.77964 - 2012-11-22 09:53

      Yes there are many firearms which were handed in running free. The SAPS never disclose the fact that they have recovered any of these firearms from arrested criminals - The State does not want anyone (or their family should they be killed) who is injured/killed by one these 'handed in' firearms to know the fact - I bet there have been some incidents -just imagime the claims against the State

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-22 05:50

    But those guns were surrendered because they were considered illegal and people were given amnesty if they had used a gun to commit a crime, I stand to be corrected here.

      nicky.saaiman.1 - 2012-11-22 06:21

      Talking about legally owned firearms

      christi.roestorff - 2012-11-22 08:37

      The new Firearms Control Act was implemented to, amongst other things, reduce the amount of privately owned firearms in circulation in South Africa. The act makes it extremely difficult to become a lawfull firearm owner and also limits the type and amount of firearms that can be legally owned by an individual. For a period before and after the act firearm owners were given an opportunity to apply for new licenses. The state stuffed this process up badly and the new firearms control act was a mess to enforce resulting in extensions and amnesty periods for implementation of the act and handing in firearms. The biggest bugger up though was that the new act made provision for lawfull gun owners to be financially compensated for handing their guns in. The state has refused to do this!

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