Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Unacceptable that Surgeon General gets off scot-free after being in possession of unlicensed firearm

It is unacceptable that the Surgeon General and head of the South African military health service, Lt.-Gen. Zola Dabula, got off scot-free after he was arrested and even spent a night in the Temba police holding cells earlier this year for being in possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The Minister of Police, Bheki Celi, reproaches legal firearm-owners on a regular basis, one would think that they are the ones committing crimes. But here is a case where a highly ranked military official apparently broke the law by being in possession of an unlicensed firearm and it seems as if the matter is deliberately being swept under the carpet.

The police's investigation file clearly stated that the weapon was in Lt.-Gen. Dabula's possession, but that it was not license to him. Thus, there is no doubt that he was unlawfully in possession of a firearm and ammunition and, therefore, he must be duly prosecuted.

The excuse that the file is no longer available and that the case was dismissed on the 20th of August due to a lack of evidence raises suspicions of corruption and the FF Plus will ask the Ministers of Police and Justice to explain how such a straightforward case could not lead to prosecution.

The relevant firearm was made available for the case and it was determined that it was not licensed to Lt.-Gen. Dabula. That constitutes sufficient grounds for prosecution. The FF Plus demands that the case must proceed and that the individuals responsible for the file must be held accountable and must also be charged if need be.

It is just too easy to dismiss an important criminal case based on the assertion that the file has gone missing. When things like this happen, the criminal justice system is failing the people of South Africa.

The FF Plus leader (Dr Pieter Groenewald) will ask follow-up questions on the matter in Parliament so see to it that justice prevails in this case.



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