Affidavit of Zanele Lwana in support of criminal charges against Adriaan Snyman relating to the gross negligent handling of a firearm and declaration of unfitness to possess a firearm
I the undersigned Zanele Lwana do hereby make oath and state:
1. I am the Deputy President of Black First Land First (BLF), and I am duly authorized to depose to this affidavit on behalf of BLF.
2. BLF is a Black Consciousness, Pan Afrikanist movement which embraces the Sankarist leadership ethos. It is registered with the Independent Electloral Commission as a political party and is situated at Office 602, Renaissance Building, corner of Main and Elloff Streets, Gandhi Square, Johannesburg.
3. The contents of this affidavit are, unless the context indicates otherwise, within my personal knowledge and are to the best of my knowledge both true and correct. The submissions of law that I make are based on the advice given to me by my legal team.
4. This affidavit constitutes the basis for the charges against Adriaan Snyman for the gross negligent handling of a firearm in that he gave the said firearm to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) President, Julius Malema, to fire shots into the air (unsupervised) during a public event. Moreover it serves to support a declaration by the Court of the unfitness of Adriaan Snyman to possess a firearm in terms of Section 103(1) of the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 (the new Firearms Control Act) upon his conviction of the offences indicated below with which he is charged.
5. On 28 July 2018 Julius Malema, was seen on camera to be discharging a firearm in a built-up area at EFF’s fifth birthday celebrations at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, in Mdantsane just outside of East London.
6. The video footage published on the News24 website on 31 July 2018, can be viewed via the link, https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/breaking-police-investigating-malema-rifle-shooting-incident-20180801
7. After discharging several shots Julius Malema gave the firearm to the Bluff security company owner, Adriaan Snyman, who then swiftly hid himself from the camera’s field of view. This was followed by Malema giving Dali Mpofu, the EFF’s Chairperson, ‘a high-five’. (See ‘Police investigating Malema rifle ‘shooting’ incident’ dated 1 August 2018 via the link: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/breaking-police-investigating-malema-rifle-shooting-incident-20180801)
8. Adriaan Snyman, had been providing security for Julius Malema since when he was the ANC Youth League president. In 2008 Snyman ‘appeared in court … in connection with planning a multimillion-rand heist.’ (See ‘Security boss in court for cash heist’ dated 9 June 2011 via the link: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/security-boss-in-court-for-cash-heist-1081038)
9. Adriaan Snyman, also owns a security company named ‘Tactical Security Services, which provided heavily armed bodyguards for Malema when he attended his hate-speech case in the Equality Court in Joburg earlier (in 2008).’ (See ‘Security boss in court for cash heist’ dated 9 June 2011 via the link: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/security-boss-in-court-for-cash-heist-1081038)
10. Tactical Security Services was established in October 2008, and its staff is claimed to ‘be trained in the security field as well as (in) firearm proficiency’. ( See Tactical Services website via the link: https://www.security.co.za/companies/https://www.security.co.za/companies/597597)
11. The new Firearms Control Act regulates the possession of firearms. In doing so, it places a lot of weight on the Constitutional right of every person to life and security. In this context the negligent handling of firearms has historically contributed immensely to the high prevalence of crime in the country.
12. Section 3 of the new Firearms Control Act prohibits any person from possessing a firearm unless s/he holds ‘a licence, permit, authorisation or registration certificate’ for that firearm. In giving the firearm to a person who does not have ‘a licence, permit, authorisation or registration certificate’ for that firearm, Adriaan Snyman committed the offence of negligently handling it.
13. The fact that Adriaan Snyman placed Julius Malema in unlawful possession of the said firearm which Malema then used to discharge several shots into the air at a public event – thereby endangering the lives of not only the attendees at the event but also those people who were in the vicinity of the said event – aggravates the situation and makes the degree of negligence gross in relation to the negligent handling of the firearm on the part of Snyman.
14. Considering how Adriaan Snyman conducted himself in relation to how a reasonable gun owner / security company owner would have conducted him or herself, there is clearly a huge deviation.
15. Adriaan Snyman is a trained security company owner. He ought to have conducted himself as a reasonable gun owner / security company owner taking into account the rights of the relevant people to life and security, which he did not do.
16. BLF hereby charges Adriaan Snyman for the relevant crimes relating to the gross negligent handling of a firearm in that he gave it to Julius Malema to fire shots into the air (unsupervised) during a public event thus endangering the lives of the peopleindicated for above.
17. BLF asks that upon conviction of Adriaan Snyman for any of the undermentioned or other related offences as charged, that he be declared unfit to possess a firearm in terms of Section 103(1) of the Act:
a. ‘(b) any crime or offence involving the unlawful use or handling of a firearm, whether the firearm was used or handled by that person or by another participant in that offence’;
b. ‘(d) an offence involving the negligent handling … of a firearm while the firearm was in his or her possession or under his or her direct control’; and
c. ‘(f) any other crime or offence in the commission of which a firearm was used, whether the firearm was used or handled by that person or by another participant in the offence’.
18. The declaration of unfitness to possess a firearm on the part of Adriaan Snyman is due to the following factors:
a. the ‘nature and seriousness of the crime(s)’;
b. the link that the crime has with the use of a firearm;
c. the offence(s) committed suggest that he may in the future make use of his licensed firearm for the purpose of committing further offences; and
d. the interests of society dictate that he be declared unfit to possess a firearm and conduct his business as a security company be it under the name and style of Tactical Security Services, Bluff security company or any other security company.