Bheki Cele Ipid

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Image via: Roger Sedres / Gallo

Gun owners take aim: Bheki Cele accused of ridding them of self-defence

Gun friendly South Africa, on behalf of gun owners, has called Bheki Cele a bully for trampling on the civil rights of others.

Bheki Cele Ipid

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Image via: Roger Sedres / Gallo

Gun friendly South Africa, on behalf of lawful gun-owning citizens, has come out, guns blazing (excuse the pun) against Police Minister Bheki Cele.  

In a statement addressing the police minister directly, gun owners said he only adds insult to injury. 


Fed up with Cele and his directives, gun owners feel that he is infringing on their self-defence abilities.

“The South African Police Service (SAPS) has ill-treated lawful gun owners for more than 10 years. Now you tell us you are ‘going to fight very hard’ to take away our self-defence firearms,” it said. 

“No Mr Cele, No!”

The statement went on to say that South African gun laws are amongst the strictest in the world, but still, they are suffering under maladministration and illegal treatment by the police.

Cele is accused of ignoring court orders that forbid the following: 

  • Disabling the SAPS computer systems for renewals;
  • Raid the homes of private citizens to illegally confiscate guns;
  • Refuse licences to completely qualified applicants;
  • Appeal every court decision against SAPS;
  • Ignore service standards set by the Police Portfolio Committee;
  • Harass lawful gun dealers;
  • Interpret and amend the law and regulations to suit your agenda;
  • Draft irrational directives; and 
  • Encourage animosity and distrust between lawful citizens and the SAPS staff who are charged with serving us.

“COVID-19 has shown us what you think about our civil rights, and the public sees you for the bully that you are. You have made this a personal fight,” the statement read. 


Gun Friendly South Africa said it will expose the trampling on gun owner’s civil rights. 

“From now on we will be exposing this mistreatment to the media, public and the Police Portfolio Committee in parliament directly. They will receive weekly reports of abuse and maladministration and we have every intention to name and shame the offenders,” it said. 

“Mr Cele, you have pushed us to the brink. A government that cannot protect its own people has no right to deny that people the right to defend themselves,” it added. 


On 22 May, Cele during a press briefing said he had written to Parliament requesting an extension of the firearm amnesty period. The firearm amnesty period was set to expire on 31 May. 

“We have written to Parliament to request for an extension after noticing the sharp decline in voluntary handovers during the lockdown,” said Cele.

“Since December, firearms and ammunition were handed in their thousands. In April, only 385 were handed in. We believe this sharp decline since April maybe because of the lockdown which has limited the movement of people, as the handing over of firearms is not necessarily categorised as an essential service,” he added.