“The South African Police Services (SAPS) already has the FPS (Firearm Permit System) that records the status of all police firearms and ammunition from ground level up linked to the personnel. If they start using the FPS system, our streets wouldn’t be flooded with police firearms,” says Ian Cameron of Action Society.
Cameron added that, “the only reason for SAPS not using the system they already have, is due to non-payment and specifically Lieutenant General Khehla Sitole refusing to use the FPS system, this after he himself promoted the procurement of the system”.
Minister Bheki Cele is now advocating for yet another system to be developed, while the SAPS is still wrangled in a legal battle with the developers, FDA (Forensic Data Analysts) about their non-payment of the existing system.
In June 2020, FDA pulled the plug on the Firearm Permit System (FPS) which manages thousands of legal firearms due to non-payment by the SAPS. The FPS managed 180 000 handguns and 350 000 semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Although the National Treasury found the value of the system fair and approved the budgets, the FDA had to shut it down because of the dispute over costs and non-payment.
“Bheki Cele is blatantly lying to the public about needing digitalisation and police ‘fighting’ a losing battle against the registration of firearms. He is trying to cover up his own incompetence and that of the National Commissioner,” Cameron concluded.