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It came as no surprise when national Saps commissioner General Khehla Sitole admitted the police didn’t have the capacity to deal with the July unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
At the SA Human Rights Commission’s national hearings into the unrest, Sitole said: “We did not have enough capacity to respond. The other main cause was the nature of the modus operandi used. Saps was so overstretched in such a manner that the current establishment could not be everywhere at all times.”
What is just as worrying as Sithole’s comments is that the increase in illegal and stolen guns, many stolen from law enforcement agencies, poses the threat of being used for internal rioting against the state, let alone for violent crime.
ALSO READ: Proliferation of illegal guns threatens state security
Gun law expert and attorney Heinrich Gonzales said: “When there are more illegal firearms or state-owned firearms, then you are going to have a situation where it leads to internal rioting against the state. There are lots of possibilities.”
Only applying stricter gun laws will never stop criminals from illegally acquiring firearms. It is time to leave legal gun owners alone and, instead, put the focus on removing illegal guns by adopting stringent firearms policies and management. If not, heaven help us.