The Portfolio Committee on Police sent the South African Police Service (SAPS) packing when it presented inaccurate statistics.

On Tuesday, the committee was scheduled to receive a final report on the number of firearms surrendered during the approved firearms amnesty for 2020-2021.

“We have decided, as the committee, that due to the inconsistencies in statistics given to the committee, that SAPS must be given time to reconcile its numbers and present accurate and reliable statistics.

“This will ensure transparency and effective oversight by the committee on the work of SAPS,” said committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson in a statement.

READ MORE: Firearm licence applications backlog growing by the day – Gunowners’ Association

The committee criticised the discrepancies in statistics and highlighted how these shortcomings affect its oversight work.

It also highlighted the implications of giving incorrect information to Parliament.

The committee raised serious concerns about the firearm licence backlog at the Central Firearms Registry (CFR).

“It is concerning that only 280 applications were processed for the 2020-2021 amnesty against 30,356 applications made. This, according to the committee, is an indictment to the work of SAPS,” Joemat-Pettersson said.

Furthermore, the committee decried the inadequate communication of the amnesty by both SAPS and the industry – and has cautioned that inadequate communication has the potential to undermine the good intentions of the amnesty.

ALSO READ: Police department requests extension on firearm amnesty period from parliament

The committee suspended the meeting and demanded that SAPS reconcile its numbers to present an accurate representation of both amnesties.

The committee also instructed Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale and Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to visit the CFR to resolve the challenges.

The duo then has to table a report on the CFR’s challenges, as well as proposed plans to resolve it.

The meeting will be rescheduled for a later date and time, which will be communicated accordingly.

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