South Africa-Parliament-Amnesty

S/Africa: New firearms amnesty gets initial approval

APA-Cape Town (South Africa)

South Africa will soon have a new firearms amnesty period extended to early next year after the initial leg was interrupted by the coronavirus’ lockdown measures, Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced in Cape Town.

The new period, pending approval of full parliament, would be effective from 1 August 2020 to 31 January in 2021, Cele said on Thursday.

During the first amnesty from last December to May this year some 19,000 weapons were handed in, Cele said.

The minister said the Parliamentary Police Portfolio Committee had approved the second amnesty following his request to have the order extended to help the government clean up the illegal weapons.

Cele asked for this second amnesty period because the unexpected lockdown period prevented many people from handing-in their guns, the minister told the committee.

The previous amnesty, unfortunately, ran into the middle of a pandemic lockdown where citizens were not allowed to move to hand over the weapons.

 With the committee’s approval, the next step was for the new period to be tabled and get final approval by a full National Assembly.

NM/jn/APA

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