Uitsluiting van Vuurwapen vir selfverdediging – Agri SA verwerp wysiging

Die minister van polisie se konsepvoorstelle om die Wet op die Beheer van Vuurwapens te wysig en selfverdediging as ’n geldige rede om ’n vuurwapen te besit uit te sluit, is onverantwoordelik en irrasioneel, sê Uys van der Westhuijzen, voorsitter van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Landelike Beveiliging.

“Agri SA verwerp dit ten sterkste.” Verdere voorstelle oor die geldigheidsduur van ’n bevoegdheidssertifikaat en die verdere beperking op die aantal vuurwapens vir geleentheidjag en -sportskiet, is eweneens onaanvaarbaar.

Agri SA sal met insette van sy lede-organisasies kommentaar lewer op die voorgestelde wysigings en, waar nodig, met ander organisasies saamwerk om wysigings tot nadeel van mede Suid-Afrikaners teë te staan.

“Dit is veral die verwydering en miskenning van die universele reg tot selfverdediging wat in die konsepvoorstelle ingesluit is wat met alle mag deur Suid-Afrikaners teëgestaan behoort te word,” sê Van der Westhuijzen. Indien die voorstel oor selfverdediging deurgevoer word, is dit veral die boerderygemeenskap wat nadelig daardeur geraak sal word omdat hulle in afgeleë gebiede woonagtig is, ver van ’n naaste polisiestasie.

“Hulle is hoofsaaklik op hulself aangewese om hulle teen kriminele te beskerm.” Die vierde kwartaal se misdaadstatistieke staaf reeds die kwesbaarheid van die landbougemeenskap teen aanvalle, met ’n styging van 64 gevalle vanaf die 2019/2020-jaar en ’n toename van vyf moorde vir dieselfde tydperk.

“Dié kwesbaarheid en die polisie se onvermoë om die landelikebeveiligingstrategie ten volle te implementeer, met verdere uitstelle van implementeringsdatums vir die strategie, laat die boerderygemeenskap dus kwesbaar om homself teen misdaad te beskerm,” maan Van der Westhuijzen. Die afskaling in die polisie se begroting vir sigbare polisiëring sal die polisie se vermoë beperk om doeltreffend teen misdaad op te tree.

“Die styging in die land se moordsyfer in die vierde kwartaal bevestig net weer die noodsaak vir landsburgers om hulleself te beskerm. Die voorgestelde wysigings aan selfverdediging maak dus verseker nie sin nie!”

Van der Westhuijzen verseker dat Agri SA en sy lede ten sterkste gekant is teen van die voorgestelde wysigings en dat hy sterk standpunt in sy kommentaar daarteen sal inneem.

“Die polisie se onvermoë om sy grondwetlike verantwoordelikheid na te kom om alle Suid-Afrikaners teen misdaad te beskerm, plaas dié verantwoordelikheid op gewone landsburgers. Die verwydering van die reg tot selfverdediging maak dit vir seker nóg makliker vir misdadigers”.

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Excluding selfdefence as reason for firearm ownership – Agri SA rejects amendment

The Minister of Police’s draft proposals for amending the Firearms Control Act and excluding selfdefence as a valid reason for owning a firearm, are irresponsible and irrational, says Uys van der Westhuijzen, chair of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Rural Safety.

“Agri SA strongly opposes these amendments.” Further proposals regarding the validity period of a competency certificate and further limitations on the number of firearms for occasional hunting and sport shoot are equally unacceptable, says Van der Westhuijzen.

Agri SA will provide commentary on the proposed amendments, with inputs from its member organisations and, where necessary, work with other organisations to oppose amendments that are to the detriment of fellow South Africans.

“The draft proposals disregard the universal right to self-defence and should therefore be opposed vehemently by all South Africans,” says Van der Westhuijzen.

If the proposal regarding self-defence is accepted, it will have a negative impact, particularly on the farming community because they live in remote areas – far from the nearest police station – and therefore are largely responsible for protecting themselves against criminal elements.

The fourth quarter crime statistics confirm the vulnerability of the farming community against attacks, with an increase of 64 incidents since 2019/2021, and an increase of five murders during the same period.

“This vulnerability and the police’s inability to fully implement the Rural Safety Strategy, with further postponements of the implementation dates, leave the farming community vulnerable to crime,” says Van der Westhuijzen. The scaling-down of the police’s budget for visible policing will limit the police’s ability to act effectively to prevent crime.

“The increase in the country’s murder figure in the fourth quarter again confirms the need for citizens to protect themselves. The proposed amendments therefore make no sense!”

In closing, Van der Westhuijzen says that Agri SA and its members are strongly opposed to the proposed amendments and will adopt a strong stance against such amendments in its commentary.

“The police’s inability to meet their constitutional obligation to protect all citizens against crime places this responsibility on ordinary citizens; therefore, the removal of the right to self-defence merely benefits criminals.”