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Thread: South African Court rules on gun compensation. News24.com H/T Charl Van Wyk

  1. #1
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    This was forwarded to me by Charl Van Wyk, author of Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defence, with whom I have recently become correspondent.

    I thought that the idea of compensation for seized and confiscated guns might be an interesting consequent of 'gun buy backs'.

    http://www.news24.com/Content/SouthA...n_compensation

    Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court has given Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa 90 days to draw up guidelines for compensation for firearms surrendered under the gun control law.

    The ruling could result in payouts totalling millions of rands for gunowners who have handed in weapons since 2004.

    The order was handed down on Monday by Acting Judge President Jeanette Traverso, who at the same time slapped down an attempt by Mthethwa to distance himself from the bungling of his predecessor.

    It followed an application by the Justice Alliance of SA (Jasa) and the False Bay Gun Club.

    Firearms Control Act

    They argued that the Firearms Control Act, which came into force in 2004, required the minister to come up with guidelines on the amount of compensation to be paid for guns surrendered or forfeited to the State.

    By failing to do so, Mthethwa and his predecessor Charles Nqakula had acted in breach of the "ethos of acountability" in the Constitution.

    Though the two sides agreed before Monday's hearing on a draft order of just three clauses, Mthethwa apparently developed a change of heart at the last minute.

    When the matter came before Traverso, Advocate Kosie Olivier said Mthethwa, his client, would not oppose clauses ordering him to draw up the guidelines within 90 days, and to pay the applicants' costs.

    However told Traverso that the minister did oppose the inclusion of the first clause - a "declarator" that the failure to establish the guidelines was unlawful and unconstitutional.

    Request for postponement


    Olivier asked that the matter be postponed so more affidavits could be filed to explain Mthethwa's involvement.

    "But why?" demanded an incredulous Traverso.

    Olivier said his instructions were that Mthethwa took office only after the April 2009 general election, and had been unaware of the guidelines issue.

    "So what?" demanded Traverso. "This is not a personal application against someone, it's ex officio... Argue the law to me, don't tell me about your instructions."

    She said that in his written heads of argument, Olivier had in fact conceded that the failure to draw up guidelines was unconstitutional.

    Jasa's lead advocate, Peter Hodes, said Mthethwa was seeking to absolve himself from blame.

    "He wants to give what is in rugby parlance called a hospital pass the previous minister," he said.

    Traverso refused the postponement, and made the full order.

    Payout could total millions

    Jasa spokesperson John Smyth said the ruling would lead to the payout of what could total millions of rands.

    "The order says what has gone on for the last five years is unlawful and unconstitutional," he said.

    "The state has received a very robust slap on the wrist from her ladyship."

    Jasa would now wait for the guidelines to be issued.

    If they were not satisfactory, this would not be the end of the matter, he said.

    If they were unchallenged, firearms control officers would have to deal with a huge compensation backlog.

    In 2005, Nqakula told Parliament that no compensation would be paid to gun owners who handed in their weapons.

    The same year, then-national police commissioner Jackie Selebi told MPs that there was no budget for compensation, and that "you can't be paid for doing away with an evil thing".


    - SAPA


  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    If nothing else warmed the last remaining cockle of my twisted, evil heart it was this:
    Olivier asked that the matter be postponed so more affidavits could be filed to explain Mthethwa's involvement.

    "But why?" demanded an incredulous Traverso.

    Olivier said his instructions were that Mthethwa took office only after the April 2009 general election, and had been unaware of the guidelines issue.

    "So what?" demanded Traverso. "This is not a personal application against someone, it's ex officio... Argue the law to me, don't tell me about your instructions."

    I'm going to expend the effort to find her contact info and send a message of appreciation to her.

    Would that we had jurists like her sitting in our courts.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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