Media Statement:SSA Gives Guns To Friends

on 27 January 2021
by Jonathan Deal

Private gun owners blamed for guns on the street while State Security Agency gives guns to friends

27 January 2021 – For immediate release

The SSA unlawfully gave guns to 'non-members'. This shocking revelation was part of the testimony of State Security Agency (SSA) acting director-general Loyiso Jafta in front of the State Capture Enquiry on Tuesday January 26th 2021. According to Jafta, the SSA had managed to recover some of the firearms. It appeared from his testimony that the number of firearms and quantity of ammunition illegally distributed was not known. He also expressed concern that some of the firearms may have been used in criminal activities. National Coordinator of safe Citizen, Jonathan Deal, said "Private firearm owners are traditionally blamed for unlicensed guns in criminal hands, despite regular reports of large numbers of firearms in the custody of police, the defence force, metro units, prisons and other state agencies being stolen and lost in quantity. Equally disturbing was the fact that thousands of firearms handed to the SAPS during amnesties were being sold out of police stores to gangsters, and now we learn that even those tasked with national security at the highest level are complicit in arming criminals."

"Apart from these proven sources of guns in the hands of criminals it is also well known that thousands of guns are circulating in the country from illegal arms caches belonging to political parties and of course that there is a regular flow of civilian and military firearms across our borders," added Deal.

"Meanwhile in four day’s time, on the first day of February, some 380,000 to 400,000 private firearm owners with no crime other than an expired license are set to be prosecuted by the police for unlawful possession of firearms.” These gun owners were expected to make use of a consolidated amnesty of about a year to hand in their guns and apply for new licenses – this despite the fact that COVID19 caused significant disruption to the amnesty and that even had there been no impact from COVID, the police could never have managed to receive and process hundreds of thousands of guns and tens of millions of rounds of ammunition in that time.

"Safe Citizen is greatly encouraged that the truth about guns in criminal hands is now emerging and also pleased to report solid progress in a first meeting with the Civilian Secretariat for Police Services around the regulation and licensing of guns and the service delivery of the Central Firearms Register."

ENDS – please refer supplementary material overleaf

Enquiries pertaining to this statement


Data to hand from various sources reveals the following:

Excluding the possibly more than 600 000 'green license' firearms which are not technically 'expired' at this time, the number of expired ‘white licenses hovers around the 380,000 to 400,000 mark.

By May of 2020 SAPS reported 27 336 firearms surrendered.

December 2019 1 523
January 2020 4 468
February 2020 4 776
March 2020 5 154
April 2020 385
May 2020 11 030
Total 27 336

This contrasts markedly with previous totals from amnesties:

Amnesty Period No of Firearms Surrendered
2005 80 454
2010 42 329
December 2019 27 336

It is estimated that SAPS may by the end of January 2021 nett about 30,000 to 35,000 firearms out of this amnesty – leaving somewhere between 345,000 to 350,000 technically unlicensed firearms in the hands of previously law-abiding citizens.

Even without COVID19 and December 2020 as a holiday month, the amnesty would have required 2878 firearms to be handed in and processed per day.

SAPS reported by January 2020 that they had already received 20260 applications for new licenses from the 23 399 surrendered at that date.

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