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Parliament to formally consider gun amnesty

Police portfolio committee chairperson Francois Beukman says the committee will consider Police Minister Bheki Cele's request and then forward the matter to the National Assembly for approval.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament will formally consider a firearms amnesty following a request from Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Police portfolio committee chairperson Francois Beukman says the committee will consider Cele's request and then forward the matter to the National Assembly for approval.

He says the proposed amnesty could assist in the reduction of firearms in circulation in the country.

It won’t be the first time the police offers South Africans firearm amnesty.

In 2004, the police embarked on a three-month amnesty period where over 80,000 legal and illegal firearms were handed over.

Cele’s spokesperson Reneilwe Serero says while the time frames will depend on Parliament, the amnesty will happen before the end of 2018.

“What I’m aware of currently is that there’s a parliamentary process in terms of the amnesty being in place. So, once that has been concluded it will then kick in. It’s not up to him [Cele].”

The police committee has emphasised that strict control measures must be in place when members of the public hand over firearms during the amnesty.

The new dates proposed are from 1 September 2018 to 28 February 2019.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)