Due process must be followed to destroy guns, say SAPS

National police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said that if it were up to police they'd get rid of the weapons sooner but states why this can't happen.

Guns that were seized by police from a premises in Kraaifontein. Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService

CAPE TOWN - Police said they welcome the calls for firearms to be destroyed more frequently, but due processes need to be followed.

Gun Free South Africa last week urged SAPS to ensure the destruction of weapons happen more often to prevent the weapons from re-entering gang-ravaged areas.

National police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said that if it were up to the police, they'd get rid of the weapons sooner but states why this can't happen.

"It must be tested ballistically to ensure that it wasn't used in a crime if it was used in the commission of other crimes, we have to keep it until we are satisfied that firearm has been used for prosecutorial purposes and so forth before we can put it into the process of destruction."

Then, if a weapon's indeed been used in the commission of a crime, and court processes unfold then these need to be finalised before court grants the order for destruction.

Naidoo said that police enforced the strictest measures to safeguard firearms and ammunition in storage.

"We have what is called exhibit registers, also known as exhibit rooms, which are frequently inspected by senior officers at all of the police stations that have these rooms to ensure that all exhibits including firearms and ammunition are properly audited and accounted for."

The next mass destruction could happen as early as next year, provided there are enough firearms to destroy for a mass operation.