In what has been described as a major victory for Afriforum‚ the high court in Pretoria ruled in their favour on Wednesday following an application to order the police to hand over firearm statistics.

Afriforum approached the court on Monday following a promotion of access to information act (PAIA) request to obtain firearm statistics on the number of firearms the police had lost or had stolen between 2009 and 2017.

In the order‚ the police were ordered to either present Afriforum with the information they requested within 60 days‚ or provide reasons for why it could not be done.

In a statement‚ Afriforum said: “This follows after the State’s legal representatives showed up unprepared at court on [Monday] and the case had to be postponed to today.

“Judge Hennie de Vos chastised the SAPS’ advocate for being unprepared and because neither the State’s attorney nor a representative from the SAPS was present at court. Judge De Vos also told the SAPS’ advocate that the law and court rules apply to everyone – whether or not they work for the State‚” the Afriforum statement said.

The police were ordered to pay Afriforum’s legal fees as well for both days of court.

“It is a major victory for AfriForum and citizens of South Africa‚ as the release of these figures will assist the civil rights organisation to help promote everyone’s safety‚” says Ian Cameron‚ head of community safety at AfriForum.

“Armed with these figures‚ AfriForum will request the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to investigate the police’s negligent loss of firearms‚” says Hein Gonzales‚ legal and risk advisor for community safety at AfriForum.