NHSA CODE OF DISCIPLINE

GUIDELINES

The primary goal of the code is to present a set of guidelines to imprint the serious importance of firearm safety on members, so as to protect co-shooters, co-hunters, members of the public, and domesticated animals against injury or harm caused by the purposeful or negligent use of firearms – this aspect is primary and takes precedence over all other aspects of the Code.  

The Code presents guidelines for appropriate compliance with the law in terms of stipulations of the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000 as amended), relevant nature conservation regulations and local ordinances that might have relevance on the participation in the Hunt and in the sport shooting by members of the NHSA. 

The disciplinary code must be read with all sets of regulations and codes of the NHSA as they may be set from time to time, and which are all meant to be guidelines for conduct in the field and on the range (thus a system of shared values).  They are not meant to be sets of technical regulations for which ways to escape implementation should be sought.  

The implementation and enforcement of the code of discipline in the NHSA will be done in the context of firearm safety first, good sportsmanship, good comradeship, and within the principles of respect for life and respect for fellow hunters and sport shooters.

The body for discipline in the NHSA is the Executive Council (the NHSA legal advisor(s) will not be part of this body).

PROCEDURE

  1. All disciplinary actions must comply with all elements of the natural rights of the individual and of fairness in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. 

  2. Under no circumstances will the identity of the person(s) who lay charges be made known to the implied member(s); with the understanding that the Executive Council must be very certain of the reasons why they would take disciplinary action against a member as any action of this nature has a direct bearing on the legal ownership of firearms.

  3. All disciplinary actions against members of the NHSA are conducted in camera

  4. There are two procedures regarding disciplinary action that can be taken:

a.  First an immediate process (usually leading to immediate expulsion)

a criminal record;

any action related to proven transgression of any law or regulation related to firearms or nature conservation;

gross misconduct which can irrefutably be proven and which action brings the good name of the association into disrepute,

proven falsification of statements made to the association, or falsification of any of the association’s documentation, or fraud concerning any activity conducted in name of the association or in respect of actions that have to be taken to obtain and maintain membership, or to obtain and maintain dedicated status issued by the NHSA (SAPS [CFR] will immediately be informed of the action taken and in the worst case scenarios NHSA will bring charges of fraud against such individual(s)).  Appeal may be directed at the NHSA Legal Representative(s), whose finding in the matter is final (for as far as it concerns procedures taken by NHSA against the proven to be guilty member).

b. Secondly a longer process related to misconduct or transgression of the codes of the association, which can be proven but does not constitute any of the transgressions mentioned in 4(a).

PROCESS

  1. During the sitting of the Executive Council (discipline) the implied member must be given ample opportunity to state his/her case as to why s/he should not be found guilty or have time to supply proof why s/he is not guilty of the accusation

  2. An implied member may only be represented by a member of the NHSA during sittings of the Executive Council (discipline), and no legal representation of any nature will be allowed

  3. Only members of the Executive Council, the implied member(s) and his/her representative, as well as members called as witnesses, may be present during sittings of the Executive Council (discipline). 

  4. All disciplinary actions implemented against members must be implemented as consensus decisions of the Executive Council.

  5. In instances where the Executive Council cannot reach consensus on a decision the implied member(s) will be declared not guilty, and the case will be considered as concluded, with no further action that can be taken against the implied member(s) in respect of the same allegation(s) again.

  6. A decision of the Executive Council, with motivated charge and reasons for the decision reached, is presented in written form to the implied member(s).

  7. The Implied member(s) have the right to appeal which will be taken under consideration by an appropriately qualified legal person(s) appointed by the Executive Council; the decision of this person(s) is final and binding on all parties. 

Implied members who are challenged to appear before the Executive Council in terms of transgression as described in 4(b), above, must be informed of the date, place and time of such hearing 21 days before the hearing takes place, and must also be furnished with a full written reason for being challenged to appear before the Council (written representation by both EXCO and the implied member will be permitted in instances where this is necessary due to distance and circumstance)   

All of the above described processes may also be handled in written documentation due to the reality of distances which implied members might have to travel in defence of themselves.

ACTION

CATEGORY 1 TRANSGRESSION 

(Action: immediate expulsion from the NHSA– without warning.  No pro-rata refund of membership fees with immediate notification to SAPS (CFR) of the action taken against the member)

  • Deliberate or accidentally committing an act with a firearm in gross disregard of the NHSA safety code, and in a manner which could have hurt or killed a person or domesticated animal.

  • Conviction in a court of law of any criminal offence involving an element of violence

  • Conviction in a court of law of contravention of the Firearms Control Act (Act 60 of 2000 as amended), and which results in the withdrawal of a firearms licence.

  • Deliberate disregard of any Provincial hunting and wildlife regulations, which pertain to the Hunt or in respect of the conservation of wildlife.

  • Proven falsification of any NHSA documentation, or rendering of false declarations to obtain membership of NHSA or of dedicated status under auspices of NHSA;

  • Proven fraudulent act regarding any activity conducted so as to claim membership of, or dedicated status with, or to maintain dedicated status with NHSA;

  • Repetition of a Category 2 transgression within 18 months of the original ruling by the Executive Council.

CATEGORY 2 TRANSGRESSIONS

(Action: compulsory temporary suspension for 6 months with single final warning)

  • Wilful and large-scale transgression of any of the stipulations of any clause of the codes of conduct of the NHSA.

  • Unintentional and unwitting transgression of any of the stipulations of  national or provincial sets of regulations or ordinances with relevance to the Hunt or sport-shooting or the conservation of wildlife. 

  • Omission of a member to report a co-member of committing a category 1 transgression to the Executive Council, or to take on the spot action to stop such transgression, or for not taking on the spot appropriate action to protect the lives of people or of domesticated animals      

  • Action against land owners or land occupiers, members of the public, or co-members which brings the good name of the NHSA or of the Hunt and/or sport shooting into disrepute – or through omission which has the same effect.    

CATEGORY 3 TRANSGRESSIONS

(Action: warning – discretionary action in accordance with the nature and intensity of circumstances)

  • Transgression of the stipulations of the codes of conduct of the NHSA.

  • Three independent charges laid against the same person by different land owners, land occupiers, or co-members.

  • Purposeful or unwitting actions, which bring the good name of the NHSA or of the Hunt or of sports-shooting as activity into disrepute.