Gun Free SA wants harsher laws imposed on cops who lose guns

SAPS statistics show 1,769 weapons belonging to officers were lost or stolen over the last financial year.

FILE: An R5 rifle, Z88 pistol, police radio &n a police bulletproof vest were found in the fake police car. Picture: Supplied to EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) says there is now an opportunity to impose harsher laws around police officers who lose their firearms after the revelation that new Mpumalanga commissioner Mondli Zuma pleaded guilty to losing his service pistol.

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane announced Zuma's promotion this week following an exclusive Eyewitness News report.

Phahlane says Zuma has been cleared of all charges against him, including drunk driving, defeating the ends of justice and losing a service pistol under suspicious circumstances.

He says Zuma was fined by a court and paid an amount in December.

Gun Free SA says statistics from the South African Police Service (SAPS) show that in the previous financial year 1,769 weapons belonging to police officers were lost or stolen.

This means on average five service pistols go missing every day.

In Pretoria this week, Phahlane said Zuma pleaded guilty in court to the charge of losing his firearm, explaining that his vehicle was broken into.

But Gun Free SA's Adele Kirsten says the law around officers and their service pistol is clear.

"It's proven that they didn't take reasonable steps to prevent it. So leaving your firearm in the cubbyhole of your car would be regarded as that."

Last November Police Minister Nathi Nhleko announced in Boksburg that he wanted to tighten legislation around gun control and has since set up an investigation into the country's firearm laws.

New gun laws are also expected to be discussed in Parliament later this year.