Three years after the Marikana massacre our police are still using R-5 assault rifles for crowd control. This was one of the shock findings at the Farlam Commission when Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega admitted that police continue to use the R-5 military grade assault rifle, even though an international policing expert called the use of these rifles “totally unacceptable” .
The R-5 is a massacre rifle. Because its bullets disintegrate on impact, police officers who use them to brutally gun down people in crowd control situations, can’t be held to account as bullets cannot be traced back to them.
We, the people, must remind Police Commissioner Phiyega, Police Minister Nhleko and the Police Portfolio Committee of their duty to ensure the safety of all who live in South Africa by banning the use of the R-5 massacre rifle by those tasked with protecting us.
But we have to act now. The Police Portfolio Committee is under pressure to implement the recommendations of the Marikana Report, a report which includes statements from experts that R-5's don't belong in our police force. This is a critical moment if we are to tackle police brutality, Police Commissioner Phiyega previously asked treasury for an additional R3.3 billion over four years, some of which will be used to increase "physical resources", for public order policing including buying R-5 assault rifles .