News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
6 Jun 2017
5:32 am

High court forces police to give back man’s guns

Ilse de Lange

The High Court set aside a Firearms Appeal Board ruling that the man was unfit to possess firearms for five years.

Firearms found on scene.

A Western Cape businessperson, who claims his former wife laid false criminal charges against him to gain an advantage in their divorce, has obtained a court order forcing the police to return his firearms.

The High Court in Pretoria granted an order to Shaheed Alexander, 37, setting aside the Firearms Appeal Board’s ruling that he was unfit to possess firearms for a period of five years and ordered the police minister to return his two firearms immediately.

Alexander turned to the court for relief after he was in May 2014 declared unfit to own a firearm, because of an assault charge laid against him by his now former wife, although she later withdrew the charge.

He said the charge was the result of a protracted and acrimonious divorce, during which his wife shamelessly abused the criminal and domestic violence processes to obtain an unfair advantage over him in their divorce proceedings.

According to Alexander, his former wife laid an assault charge against him, but told him she would withdraw the charge if he agreed to sign their house over to her. She withdrew the charge, but the police instituted an inquiry against him on the strength of allegations that he had expressed the intention to kill or injure his former wife and had “an inclination to violence”.

Alexander alleged there were material irregularities during the inquiry against him as his former wife was a witness and the presiding officer relied on her statement in the criminal matter, but refused to provide him with a copy.

He said he was “completely ambushed” by the police, was unable to prepare himself for the inquiry, was only “superficially” afforded the opportunity to cross-examine his wife and was not afforded a fair opportunity to state his side of the story.

Alexander denied he had ever threatened to kill or injure his former wife and had firearms as he was concerned about his safety in Mitchell’s Plain where he lived.