Only a select group of gun-owners in South Africa – known as “Category A” collectors – are allowed to own original AK-47s, said Gun Owners South Africa chairman Paul Oxley.
There were only “about 200-odd” such collectors in the country, he said, and a small number of them actually owned the Russian-built automatic rifles.
In fact, Oxley – and SA Gun Owners’ Association chairman Martin Hood – said that fully-automatic rifles were outlawed for everyone else. However, semi-automatic versions could be licensed and used. Security companies often used these types of weapons.
“It is probably a semi-automatic version,” said Oxley, who added there was few differences between automatic and semi-automatic.
In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the ANC moved to distance itself from the bodyguards.
“The African National Congress strongly denounces and distances itself from this irresponsible display of weapons, irrespective of the purpose for which it was done,” it said.