We, the South African People, demand that the South African government notpass the Dangerous Weapons Bill introduced by the minister of police, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa on October 12, 2012.
This bill will eventually strip law-abiding South Africans of even more weapons they may carry for self-defense purposes in public places. 'Muggins', Robberies, Rape, Assault, hijackings' are common occurrences in public places.
Our society is clearly violent. The police cannot guarantee our safety, and convictions of violent crimes are very low. Many South Africans have to carry dangerous weapons, such as knives and firearms, for private defence purposes.Law abiding South Africans must have the right to carry weapons to uphold the innate and constitutional right of private defence.
We do not want the South African government to pass any legislation that will in any way further infringe on the ability of South Africans to protect themselves.
Under the Dangerous Weapons Bill, police officers will have the power to judge the intentions of civilians under "reasonable suspicion" of planning to do a crime. This clearly has much room for subjective interpretation, abuse and potential framing of law-abiding South Africans.
Recent media reports indicate many cases of police officers engaging in corrupt activities. This draws into questions the integrity of certain members of the South African Police.See the following articles: January, 17, 2013 (IOL News); January 17, 2013 (SAPS News); January 23, 2013 (IOL News); January 18, 2013 (IOL News); March, 2008 (ISS); June 7, 2012 ('Die Volksblad"); January 8, 2013 (News 24); November 28, 2012 (PoliticsWeb); January 16, 2012 (SAHA); December 11, 2012 (OFM News); September 26, 2012 (The Witness); April 19, 2012 (Sowetan); October 4, 2012 (IOL News); November 28, 2012 (Times Live).
Clearly allocating more power in the hands of the police is not the solution.
This Bill will further reduce the constitutional firewalls preventing an undue accumulation of state power and a state monopoly on violence over private citizens.Further, the Bill is non-specific, ambiguous, and opens private civilians to legal charges and jail time on the suspicion of planning to do a crime.
Suspicion alone should not be reason enough to put people in jail. It is very likely that theBill will also not promote fair and equal treatment under the law, as it may open the door to, non-specific, subjective abuses of South African citizens by the police.
We don't want any more public policing resources, that is money and police officer time, to be spent on the implementation and enforcement of this Bill.
We, The People of South Africa, mandate the South African government not to make the Dangerous Weapons Bill law in South Africa.
Dangerous Weapons Bill on Polity.org.za
Dangerous Weapons Bill, 2012 - Parliament of South Africa
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