AfriForum has said it will keep ‘a watching brief’ and ‘ensure justice prevails’ following the appearance in the Ficksburg Magistrates Court of three police members from the town in connection with a farm attack near Rosendal on 13 January.

The organisation’s head of safety for the central region, Joseph Renaud, said: ‘Police members should be held to an even higher standard than the average citizen – they should symbolise a fortress of justice – not the opposite.

‘With the Free State farming community already under constant threat from criminals, the last thing they need is a further destruction of their already fragile relationship with the SAPS,”

The civil rights organisation said the incident came ‘at an inconvenient time for Police Minister Bheki Cele, who has been using every platform at his disposal to advocate for the amendment of the Firearms Control Act … in order to eventually ban private citizens from owning firearms’.

Ian Cameron, Head of Community Safety at AfriForum, said: ‘We hope that this incident will bring Cele back to reality. It is unfathomable that his scheme to improve safety in South Africa should start with disarming law-abiding citizens, whilst his own SAPS apparently has sufficient problems that need sorting out first.’

[Picture: Bob Adams, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57481820]

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