South African security forces in the form of the national defence force and the police service had almost nine times as many firearms stolen as lost in the 2013/14 financial year.
This was revealed by Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, in reply to a Parliamentary question posed by Pieter Groenewald of the FF+.
Soldiers and police mislaid or lost 199 firearms and had 1 789 stolen.
A similar trend was reported in the private security sector where 796 firearms were stolen and 41 lost and private citizens followed suit with a staggering 5 194 firearms stolen and 233 lost.
“If it is taken into consideration that nearly three million (2 989 705) firearms are owned by individuals and 233 firearms were lost, only 0,007% of privately owned firearms were lost. It can said there was negligence with 0,007% of legal firearms.
“Comments by the Minister of Police and even President Zuma that there are too many private firearms and that it promotes violent crime in the country are totally untrue and shows their ignorance as well as their being ill-informed about private firearm ownership.
“The problem with crime and firearms is found in illegal firearms in the country. Gun Free SA estimates there could be up to four million illegal firearms in South Africa. Criminals prefer to use illegal firearms because they are difficult to trace.
“If the Minister and police were to focus more on illegal firearms and stop targeting legal firearm owners, violent crime could be combatted more effectively,” said Pieter Groenewald, FF+ chief spokesman on police and security, said.