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Thread: South African Law governing Knives?

  1. #1

    Question South African Law governing Knives?


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    I live in South Africa, and have rather large collection on knives... A you know SA is not the safest place. I have had a hard time finding any infomation about carrying knives, is it allowed?. There are a huge number of shops in SA supplying a huge selection of Knives, all the way from CRKT to Kershaw.. Even swords. These shops vow that there is no law governing the carrying or size of knives, yet when you are stopped by our rather doff cops, they always "remove" the knives.... Try stop them and to prison you go!.

    Any one have any info about the SA laws...

    The Blade I carry in 16cm excl handle

    Thanks
    Ps

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South Africa
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    7
    Hi there, I heard that the blade may be anything upto 10m and single sided.

    However I am also still looking for a defenitive answer concerning the south african law and the carrying of knifes for self defence.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South Africa
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    7
    ooops.. not 10m but 10cm!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South Africa
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    Verified with an attorney I know, the law states that you may carry a non-dagger like blade of upto 10cm on your person in public areas.

  5. #5
    Almost every shop in SA say there is no law about the size of a knife.... Hell they even say carry a sword. We unfortunatly don't have the brightest police force in the world (our Deputy President was fired for corruption and his replacement take a R700 000.00 holiday on our tax money).
    I am not even sure if our own cops know if there is a law. All they do is take your knife for personal use and I don't know how far I can go to stop them from removing my prized knives!!!..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    7

    Wink The court is the one to fear

    Think of it this way... does it matter what the shop owner thinks? Or does it matter what the judge thinks?

    Anyways, I looked into it more and the only direct measurment I could get (10cm) was from the one conversation with said attorney.

    However I a few internet write-ups, and in specific a law proffessor from wits university did give a long description of what consitutes self defence in RSA. It basically comes down to 'mens rea' - a guilty mind. Mens rea is far easier to prove if the defendant was found to have stabbed with some 10inch tactical blade than if the defendant had a 3.2inch Timberline Pistol Grip. Or even a 4inch dagger vs a 4inch folder.

    This did all appear to refer mainly to what you were purposefully CARRYING on you.
    If you have a Katana in your cupboard and a swiss folder in your pocket and some... uhmmm.. green-shaded-attacker was running down your passage with a butchers knife and informing you in no uncertain terms how pretty your daughter is... I dont think anyone will care if you disected him with the pocket knife, Katana or even the garden pick we all feal we need to keep under our pillows here in our blessed country.
    Last edited by iceage71; 07-26-2006 at 07:32 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Limburg (NL)
    Posts
    45
    I have no idea about SA laws for knives. I can only tell you my experience when I travelled there. I flew to SA in 2002 and in 2003 from Europe. In 2002 I took my CS El Hombre and my Gerber Airranger II. A year later I took my Gerber Spectre and my fallkniven F1. On both occations I had no trouble getting trough customs. They were in my backpack not in my handluggage of course. In 2002 I had a label on my backpack saying it had been checked. All these knives are 10 cm or just under that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    7

    911 attack

    Maybe 2 weeks after the 911 attacks in the US I travelled on 737 from Johannesburg to CapeTown. I kept hearing over the airport intercom in Johannesburg how security has been stepped up and that we may not have lighters, toothbrushes, any form of knives etc etc on our person. We were also told that we will be searched thoroughly and we must please be patient with this as it is all due to the new terrorism scare world wide. Well, I walked through every checkpoint without being frisked (3 checkpoints that day actually) even once. Even my laptop bag was never opened. My colleague with me had to take his laptop out the bag and the bag was searched rather well... while I was standing with my laptop over my shoulder watching it all.

    This is one weird country.
    Beatiful girls though

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    505
    Oh yeah, there's nothing like a really nice SA girl!

    Can you legally carry a knife for selve defence? Although in the SA I've heard tell of, that'd usually be pretty stupid - i.e. 'Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.'
    And to think as a primary school child I would wander around central Pretoria without a care in the world.

  10. #10

    Dangerous Weapons Act 71 of 1968

    This, I think, is the Act that covers non-firearm weapons.
    http://www.saps.gov.za/docs_publs/le.../a71of1968.pdf


    Quotes from the act...

    1 Definitions

    In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates-
    'dangerous weapon' means any object, other than a firearm, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury if it were used to commit an assault;

    ...

    2 Prohibition of the possession of dangerous weapons, firearms and certain other objects
    (1) Any person who is in possession of any dangerous weapon, or of any object which so resembles a firearm that, under circumstances such as those under which such person is in possession thereof, it is likely to be mistaken for a real firearm, shall be guilty of an offence, unless he is able to prove that he at no time had any intention of using such weapon or object for any unlawful purpose, and shall on conviction be liable to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.

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