What is non lethal defence, and is it effective?

Non lethal defence is the use of groundbreaking, effective non lethal solutions which preserve life, instead of using lethal force in conflict or defence situations. Many armies worldwide are moving towards the use of non lethal systems as the global call to engage in conflicts in a humane yet effective way grows. Non lethal systems also complement lethal systems, as they can often be used to neutralise situations, thus negating the use for lethal force.


Our products do not require a licence:

Duke Defence products do not require any licences. The Firearms Control Act of 2000 clearly exempts the non lethal weapons we sell from its definition of a firearm, which means that there are no restrictions on the use of our products. Duke is proud of the products that we promote and sell. These highly effective alternatives to lethal force preserve lives.


What the law requires:

When using our non lethal weapons, you have to warn the perpetrator prior to engaging.


Possible legal implications:

In using our products, it is possible that a legal case could ensue. In the unlikely event that it does, it would be tried as a self defence case. You are acting in private (self) defence if you use force to repel an unlawful attack by another person against you, or an act which causes damage to your property, or another recognised legal interest. In these circumstances, any justifiable harm or damage inflicted upon the aggressor is not unlawful.


How does the law define an attack?

An attack must be:

  • An attack, which had either commenced or was imminent; and
  • Which was unlawful;
  • Upon a legally protected interest.
  • In an important criminal case in South African criminal law, S v Jackson, the Appellate Division held that a person is justified in killing in self defence not only when he fears that his life is in danger but also when he fears grievous bodily harm.
  • How does the law define self defence?

The defence must be:

  • Directed against the attacker;
  • Necessary to avert the attack; and
  • A reasonable response to the attack.
  • The Dangerous Weapons Bill

The Dangerous Weapons Bill is a draft bill which seeks to empower police officers to arrest people carrying dangerous weapons during public gatherings. However, religious and cultural gatherings will be exempt.

The Dangerous Weapons Bill will outlaw possession of any weapon, object, or replica in instances where there was an intention to use it for an unlawful purpose. In terms of the bill, objects such as bricks and glass bottles would also be considered weapons, as they could injure people or cause damage to property.

Once the bill is passed, it will repeal previous Acts and put in place one law governing the carrying of dangerous weapons, namely the Dangerous Weapons Act of 2012.