SAPS: Gun owners 'jumping the gun', fears over threat to right to self-defence 'unwarranted'
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has called for calm over a draft bill on gun licences which proposes taking away self-defence as a reason to own a gun.
On Thursday, Gun Owners South Africa (GOSA) said the draft amendment bill to the Firearms Control Act was "released" on Wednesday. Gosa said it was "outraged" at what the amendment bill contained.
In a statement, GOSA said the draft legislation will take away self-defence as a valid reason for owning a gun, "infringing on every South Africans' right to life".
The bill also proposes other changes to existing legislation, including requiring people who apply for gun licences to supply a medical certificate, "which means a breach on the constitutional right of citizens to the right to privacy", GOSA said.
It also said the bill will establish a ballistics database, "knowing full well that ballistic testing has proven to be ineffective".
This shows that the police are "not serious about the lives of citizens", GOSA said.
"The major concern we have is the right to life of law-abiding citizens. Crime is escalating at an alarming rate, whereby the criminals perpetrating these crimes are becoming increasingly violent. Taking away a means to effectively defend oneself will see to an increase in violent crimes committed against all South Africans, this cannot be allowed to happen," the organisation said.
However, national police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo emphasised that the bill was just a draft and that it was at the very beginning of the parliamentary process.
'GOSA is jumping the gun'
Naidoo said reactions to the bill hadn't even been received yet. "GOSA is jumping the gun," he said.
He added that the police could not comment on anything else related to the bill because the police are still in court with GOSA.
In July, GOSA obtained an interdict against SAPS confiscating guns because the gun licences have expired which must still be made final.
Right wing political party Front National also condemned the proposed amendments, saying the pricess creates the impression that the government wants to take away "law-abiding citizens' right to self-protection".
Francois Beukman, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police in Parliament, was not available for comment on Thursday. But in an interview with The Citizen, he also said the bill was just a draft.
He reportedly said gun owners should wait until Cabinet had formally published the amendment bill for comment before reacting.
Are you always on that quest to shed a few kilos and finding it more like a being on a see saw? What is the lowdown on losing weight successfully over the long term? There are a few common traits that studies have found help those who lose weight manage not yoyo back and forth. Keeping your body in shape means a long term commitment to making changes in your lifestyle that are lasting. Here are some pointers as to what has been found to help shed weight and keep it off too.
Monitor yourself – weighing yourself daily and keeping a food diary was found to contribute to more successful weight loss as it helps you keep track of yourself
Eat mindfully – chew properly and savour your food, that way you are less likely to overeat as you will know when you are full. Don’t eat until you are stuffed, follow the nine tenth rule and stop before you are full. Sit down and have a meal at the table instead of eating in front of the telly where you can be distracted and overeat or not bother to chew properly (this was also found to be a factor in some studies)
High Protein Breakfast – eating a breakfast high in protein regularly has been significantly linked long term weight loss, as protein is digested more slowly and slows the production of ghrelin, a hormone that tells our brain that we are hungry.
Shift your focus – choose healthier foods; snack on nuts and wholefoods rather than refined carb sweets, that way you needn’t feel deprived. Keep healthy snackshandy
Smaller portions – it may sound strange, but try using a smaller size plate – it was found that it made people reduce their portions sizes!
Catch Yourself – if you slip up, don’t get caught in a downward spiral of despair, pick yourself up and keep going, the quicker you rectify a slip up the better
Reduce Hidden Sugar – many foods have hidden sugar in them, check your lables for foods that have sugar in the first 5 ingredients and be aware of other names for sugar such as things that end in –ose (dextrose, maltose, lactose) and syrups such as corn syrup, malt syrup and cane juice
Be consistent – eating regular meals is important as a structured eating plan helps you focus on the right foods and avoid pitfalls and cravings.
Exercise – regular physical activity is something we all know burns those kilos, even if you just go for a brisk 15 minute walk every day
Healthy Fats – avoid trans and saturated fats in processed foods but good fats can be your ally. Helping to lower cholesterol, protect from heart disease and prevent depression. They also help you absorb your food’s nutrition better as some vitamins are fat soluble. Drizzle olive oil on your salads and throw some walnuts into your oats or cereal and include avo in your diet.
Think holistically – think about which foods are unprocessed and brimming with healthy, natural nutrition that will leave you satiated instead of purely analyzing calories
Don’t tempt yourself – if you are avoiding certain foods, don’t have them in your house. Rather find healthy, tasty replacements
Weight doesn’t always equal fat – weight distribution is important – fat around your waist isn’t a good sign, but if you are training, your muscles may take on more mass and become heavier too.
Cellphone service providers to testify during data inquiry
The four major cellphone service providers in South Africa will testify on Thursday at the Competition Commission’s market inquiry into data services and prices in Pretoria.
Between them, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom are said to have around 30 million subscribers.
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub says for cellphone call prices to go down, the costs faced by network providers also need to drop.
The aim of the inquiry is to better understand the general state of competition in the data services sector. Joosub says some of the cost challenges for the providers are the delayed switch to digital migration and regulatory uncertainty and lack of access to spectrum.
On Wednesday, the commission in Pretoria heard that access to affordable internet is a human right.
Media Monitoring Africa’s William Bird says access to the internet is fundamental to people’s dignity and ability to succeed in life.
Bird says, “This is about the people that live in our country and not necessary those lucky enough to be here. So it must be driven by Human Rights and it must also look at providing critical skills especially for the marginalised.”
“So again it is about costs, but it must also be about ensuring that people have the skills in order to engage. If we are going to succeed, every citizen needs this or we may not be here in 15 to 20 years to discuss this.”