The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused Police Minister Bheki Cele of making reckless comments related to gun ownership in his campaign for a gun-free country.

Cele says he wants to make it illegal for individuals to own guns. This is after he declared 1 December 2019 to 31 May 2020 a firearm amnesty period.

This allows for individuals to hand over their illegal or unwanted firearms to various police stations across the country.

All the surrendered guns will undergo ballistic tests to check if they have not been used to commit crime previously.

“The law clearly permits citizens to own firearms. The Minister is simply trying to test his opinion in the court of public opinion. The DA believes that citizens should have the legal right to own a firearm should they choose to want to own a firearm. The Minister simply cannot prove that any firearm that has been collected by the South African Police Service in any firearm amnesty can be linked to the commitment of a crime. He has failed to prove that a reduction in lawfully owned firearms by lawful citizens has led to a reduction in crimes committed by guns,” says DA Shadow Minister of Police, Andrew Whitfield.