Johannesburg – The National Freedom Party (NFP) has called for stringent gun laws to be relaxed to allow politicians to carry firearms for self-defence.

This comes as several politicians, who are councillors mainly, have been gunned down in KZN recently.

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One of those gunned down recently was ANC ward 14 deputy chairperson Cassim Phiri, who was gunned down after attending a party meeting at Mariannhill Primary School on Tuesday evening.

Also recently, IFP councillor Siyanda Magubane was shot dead in Msinga.

NFP secretary-general Canaan Mdletshe said political assassinations were worrying.

He said the killings in KZN posed a treat to the stability in the province.

The Firearms Control Amendment Bill, which came into law last year, places heavy restrictions on South Africans’ ability to licence a firearm for self-defence.

The NFP has said that though they are not opposed to the legislation, the recent political killings, especially in the KZN, have made it clear that councillors and politicians are under siege and drastic changes have to be made for their safety.

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They are proposing the relaxation of the laws for politicians and councillors, that they should be permitted to apply for a firearm licence, and should be allowed to carry guns in public for self protection.

“We cannot continue like this where public representatives are at the mercy of either hired hitmen or thugs.

“If one looks at the trends, politicians are targeted when leaving a meeting. This means they are most vulnerable when attending party meetings or council sittings,” said Mdletshe.

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“KZN has always been a volatile province and a fertile ground for the killings and assassination of politicians, and this must come to an end.

“The sad reality is that police are failing to protect politicians and councillors due to the fact that they are under-resourced in terms of personnel and logistics.

“If we want to have stability in municipalities, then counsellors must be safe and must be armed. Even If it calls for them to have special licences and permits to carry firearms in public, so be it.”

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