Cops can’t have my gun – crime victim

Kathryn Kimberley

A PORT Elizabeth woman who shot and wounded an intruder in her Lorraine home last week has refused to hand over the weapon to police.

Ivanhoe Perelson, 57, had purchased the gun for safety reasons in 1978. However, she said it was the first time she had been forced to use it.

Police have demanded she hand over the gun for ballistic testing – a procedure which could take up to a year.

Perelson has in turn vowed to go to court to hold onto the weapon which she claims is her only form of protection.

“If police want to take my gun, they must give me another one in the meantime,” she said yesterday.

Recalling last Wednesday night’s incident, Perelson said she had shot at one of two men who broke into her Montmedy Road home.

She said it was close to midnight, and she had been reading in bed when she heard her parrot fall off his perch. “He obviously got a fright as this is not something he usually does, so I knew someone was in the house.”

Perelson said she then heard footsteps in the lounge area.

She said she locked herself in her bedroom and telephoned her son. She then armed herself with the licensed .38 special.

Perelson said she could hear the men approach her bedroom and one of them tried to open her door. She shot when he tried to kick down the door.

“I suspect that I may have injured him but I am not sure where the bullet clipped him,” she said.

The bullet ricocheted and was lodged in the bathroom door.

The suspects fled and Perelson opened a case of housebreaking. She also informed police of the shooting.

Now, almost a week later, she is fighting to hold onto her gun.

Attorney Wesley Hayes of Joubert, Galpin, Searle, confirmed that Perelson had approached him for legal advice.

Hayes said the police would be opening themselves up to a civil suit should Perelson fall victim to crime while she is unarmed.

Perelson, an SAPS reservist pilot, is relying on Chapter 14 of the Firearms Control Act of 2000, which states that a police official may only seize a firearm if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that it has been used in commission of an offence.

“The gun has not been used in a crime. I have admitted to the shooting. . .

“There is already such a backlog in the system with regard to ballistics,” Perelson said.

Police spokesman Captain Johan Rheeder said they would apply to the court for a seizure warrant if Perelson did not willingly hand over the gun.

Perelson, who lives alone, said she would be left vulnerable for at least six months.

But Rheeder who could not confirm how long the ballistic testing would take, said police could check up on her once a day to make sure she was safe.

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