Expired license CAN be renewed. The SAPS refusal to process late applications for renewal is unlawful. We have received the written order on the July 2018 court case and we have summarised it to make it easy for all to understand. This is a solid victory by GOSA for all the firearm owners of South Africa.
Gun Owners South Africa (GOSA) July 2018 Interdict Notes
1. SAPS disputed the right of our attorney and the standing of our Exco and Chairman to bring this action. The judge was not pleased with this. Terming the challenge “artificial to put it mildly”, “except with a fertile imagination”, and an abuse of the court’s time.
2. SAPS argued there was no urgency because GOSA waited until July 2018 to challenge a February 2016 directive. This was dismissed due to the SA Hunters (and others) cases similarly dealing with this from a (now failed) different point of view only being resolved in June 2018.
3. The National Spokesman for SAPS also stated on the record that there was no option but to surrender expired license firearms, while GOSA was engaging in good faith with SAPS to find a mutually beneficial outcome in the aftermath of the ConCourt June 2018 ruling. This prompted GOSA’s court action.
4. GOSA argued “life and death” through the loss of firearms for protection by many gun owners, calling it a “matter of national security” due to the number of 450 000 expired licenses – and potentially 60 Million rounds of ammunition – which SAPS was demanding be surrendered to it. The judge agreed with GOSA.
5. GOSA brought evidence clearly showing SAPS as wholly incompetent and lacking the institutional integrity to take in firearms of any number, and protect them at any level. The judge agreed with this view.
6. SAPS argued that an expired license was irrecoverable. GOSA presented a SAPS 518(a) form as evidence that it was not. The judge agreed with GOSA.
7. The court dismissed SAPS arguments against urgency in the whole, mentioning SAPS accusation of GOSA “sitting on its hands” as wrong.
Merits of the application:
1. Before the Phahlane directive, it was common practice to renew late and even expired licenses.
2. The SAPS 518(a) form was damning for SAPS. It clearly showed that there was provision to renew expired licenses, and that this was the original intention of the legislature. The fact that it was still available on the website for download did not help SAPS. The Judge was actually astounded that the Constitutional Court had missed this key evidence in their judgement earlier this year.
3. The Judge remarked… “It is in my view…”, “…Green licenses predating the promulgation of the Act in 2004 is still recognised…”.Although the court was not asked to clarify this at all, it is crystal clear that the court views ALL old licences as still valid.
4. The court accepted the SAPS submission that an amnesty during which Licence could be renewed was imminent, although the specific terms were unknown. (This has turned out to be false a number of months later. There will be no amnesty.)
1. SAPS are prohibited from implementing any plans of action, and from accepting from the public firearms for which the license has expired. SAPS is also prohibited from demanding the surrender of such firearms. (Do not hand in your firearm, rather keep it in your safe and go and renew your license.)
2. All other pleas are to be dealt with in the main application, including:
2.1. Extending expired license validity to allow renewal on good cause shown,
2.2. The (unlawful) Phahlane directive halting renewal of expired licenses to be withdrawn,
2.3 An order to restore the (sabotaged) CFR IT system to accept expired license renewals,
2.4 Expired license renewal applications are subject to “good cause shown”,
2.5. Any lodged application for late renewal with good cause shown (good reason) as requested by the SAPS 518(a) form, shall be considered lawful possession,
2.6. Further alternative relief,
2.7. Costs are reserved for the main application.
GOSA would like to point out that these problems, in particular, the disabling of the system to renew expired licenses, occurred under the command of General Phahlane, a week after he was appointed as Acting National Commissioner under the now disgraced Zuma administration.
A week or so after this unlawful directive Phahlane disbanded General Veary’s task team in the Western Cape that had uncovered Colonel Prinsloo’s criminal scheme to supply thousands of SAPS and surrendered firearms to Cape flats gangs. Again, Pahlane has been implicated in corruption along with 20 of his colleagues, including Lieutenant-Gen Lungiswa Shezi, Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Services. Raising questions to his motives, leadership ability and judgement, as he seems incapable in making rational and logical decisions.
Phahlane’s successor, National Commissioner Sithole has admitted to the Parliamentary Police Portfolio Committee that SAPS is “overstretched” and that he considers the SAPS finds it “impossible to fulfil its mandate”. Why then do SAPS keep unlawful orders of a corrupt ex-police chief in place, and why does SAPS leadership insist on making the lives of the hard-working officers in SAPS, as well as gun owners more difficult by fighting about trivial matters like the renewal of expired licenses where it is obvious that the legislature always intended late renewals to be legally possible?
Work with us and let us help you make things easier, Minister Cele and General Sithole. We implore General Sithole and Minister Cele to repair the sabotaged computer system in regards to the renewal of expired firearm licenses as soon as possible, as not doing so is obviously an egregious dereliction of your duty.
We note that SAPS has admitted providing an internal guideline literally days after the ruling to its members on how to proceed regarding the use and possession of dagga following the groundbreaking ruling by the Constitutional Court in September, but has blatantly ignored doing so for expired firearms licenses. This is not acceptable.
There are hard-working and dutiful Designated Firearm Officers in South Africa trying their best to make good of a bad situation, to them we thank you for your hard work and dedication, and we hope that your leadership will work with us and you to make all of our lives easier.
P.P Tim Flack
Media Liaison GOSA
EXCO: CHAIRPERSON GOSA
South Africa Today – South Africa News