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Durban - A 15-year-old school boy has appeared before the Umlazi Magistrate's Court for being in possession of a gun. 

On Thursday, police officers at Umlazi arrested a 15-year-old pupil for being in illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition said Brigadier Jay Naicker, a KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson. 

Naicker said he was placed before the Umlazi Magistrate's Court where he was released into the custody of his parents.

"Police received a report of a pupil carrying a firearm at a school in U-section and immediately responded. Police officers found the pupil in possession of a revolver with three rounds of ammunition. He was immediately arrested and charged. He will also be profiled to establish if he is linked to criminal activities in the area,"Naicker said.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula has made an appeal to parents to play a greater role in the education of their children. 

“We are calling on parents to ensure that they play a pivotal role in the development their children and to also work hand-in-hand with police. Our children are precious and they should be safe in places of learning. It is worrying when children arrive at schools with dangerous weapons and we are working with schools to conduct random searches,” he said.

Recently, Police Minister Bheki Cele has again asked Parliament to approve another declaration of the firearm amnesty, to run for six months from next month.

This emerged in a letter Cele wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, requesting that the police portfolio committee consider the amended draft declaration for the firearm amnesty.

Modise has now referred the letter to committee because the Firearms Control Act provides for the amnesty to be valid if it is approved by Parliament.

In his latest letter to Modise, Cele said a draft notice for a declaration of amnesty was tabled by his predecessor Fikile Mbalula in 2017 and was referred to the police portfolio committee.

“The portfolio committee was unable to consider the draft notice prior to February 1, 2018, being the proposed date on which the amnesty period was set to commence."

He also said the committee had required that Mbalula table a new letter containing the new date prior to approval.

“While I am in support of the declaration of an amnesty on the condition that was in principle already agreed to by the portfolio committee, I further wish to add that an application contemplated in Section 134 (4) of the said Act shall not apply to illegal firearms where documentary proof of previous ownership cannot be produced,” Cele said.

The minister said the proposed new dates for amnesty would be October this year to March next year.

“It will be appreciated if the amended draft notice can be forwarded to the portfolio committee of police for consideration,” Cele said.

Cele said the Firearm Control Act required him to publish a notice to declare an amnesty.

“The amnesty may result in the reduction of the number of illegally possessed firearms in South Africa. It's in the public interest to do so,” the minister said.

Daily News