The slow rate at which illegal firearms were being destroyed was a risk to the Western Cape’s safety, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Cape Town - The slow rate at which illegal firearms were being destroyed was a risk to the Western Cape’s safety, Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said.

He was replying to a question from Reagen Allen in the provincial legislature. Fritz said it was revealed that the destruction of illegal firearms was delayed by the police because of a lack of suitable premises.

“Currently all of the Western Cape’s illegal firearms are destroyed in Gauteng, bi-annually.

“Recent crime statistics revealed that the majority of murders and attempted murders are committed using firearms. What’s more, 13 of the top 30 stations which report illegal possession of firearms and ammunition are located in the Western Cape”.

Fritz said the police recovered 1037 illegal firearms between November 2018 and August 2019 in the Western Cape. “Given the number of firearms and ammunition that is frequently seized, it is problematic that these are destroyed twice a year only.”

Claire Taylor, of Gun Free SA, said they called on Police Minister Bheki Cele to “urgently proceed with actions to recover and destroy unwanted, obsolete and illegally-held guns as soon as possible”.

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Cape Argus