Articles and Posts

Guns and Domestic Violence – the means matter

  • August 2017
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          PRESS RELEASE Guns and Domestic Violence – the means matter 01 August 2017: This Women’s Month, Gun Free South Africa, Black Girl Fat Girl Magazine, Sonke Gender Justice, and the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation are joining hands to highlight the risks that guns pose for women in their homes: the Medical Research Council (MRC) of South Africa found that a legal gun is used in 75% of cases in which a woman is shot and killed, and in 60% of cases this shooting occurs in her home. To mark Women’s Month, the organisations sent out 120 packs of Bul-lets, a 15 tampon pack to raise the alarm on the prevalence of firearms in domestic violence. If you are asking yourself what tampons have to do with gun violence, the explanation is as jarring as it is sobering. Often in warzones where medical supplies are scarce, tampons have been used to stem the flow of blood from bullet wounds on the battlefield because they are very absorbent. The correlation between the two is that there is

Scrap the Surplus! July 9 International Gun Destruction Day

  • July 2017
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  MEDIA STATEMENT: Scrap the Surplus! July 9 International Gun Destruction Day   9 July 2017: Thousands of South Africans die every year because of gun violence. A South African Medical Journal report revealed that as many as 20 people are killed in gun-related incidents every single day. No one is immune to gun violence; neither the three year old playing in the street with her friends nor the popular South African actor. To stop gun violence, we need to get them off our streets and destroyed. International Gun Destruction Day is marked globally on the 9th of July 2017. Initiated by the United Nations in 2001, this day serves to remind us about the threat that excess, poorly secured, and illegal weapons pose to our everyday safety and security. Destroying gun stocks stops surplus guns leaking into the illegal market, and because guns don’t expire, they can be used many times to commit crimes. South African Police Service interventions have seized thousands of illegal guns and many South African’s have handed their firearms into the police. According to SAPS,

Gun Free South Africa welcomes ruling upholding gun licence renewals, urges state enforcement and public compliance with gun law to stop gun violence

  • July 2017
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Pretoria, 4 July 2017: Gun Free South Africa welcomes today’s North Gauteng High Court’s ruling which recognises that regular gun licence renewals are an integral part of an effective gun control system while stipulating that South Africa’s gun law needs to be properly enforced. In her ruling, Judge Tolmay upheld the purpose of the Firearms Control Act (2000), describing guns as “hazardous objects” that need to be “strictly controlled”, and affirming the importance of gun licences having a “limited lifespan”. However, she criticised the Act for not listing the procedure that gun owners whose licences have expired must undertake to bring themselves “back within the parameters of the law”, noting that since about 2010 there is evidence that the Act has been poorly enforced. In the “absence of proper procedures” regarding the renewal of gun licences, the Judge ruled that sections 24 and 28 of the Act are unconstitutional, giving Parliament 18 months to amend the Act and include this “glaringly absent” detail. Although Gun Free South Africa agrees that there are serious gaps in the enforcement of the Firearms

Police failure to help in domestic violence cases is misconduct- Lawyers for Human Rights

  • June 2017
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Police failure to help in domestic violence cases is misconduct- Lawyers for Human Rights Johannesburg – Police failure to assist complainants with respect to the Domestic Violence Act (116 of 1998) has been viewed as misconduct, and a disciplinable offence, the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) said on Wednesday. LHR was reacting to police as well as the Civilian Secretariat for Police reports on police compliance with the act, presented in the portfolio committee on police in Parliament on Tuesday. LHR said while the Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula outlined that domestic violence remains a priority crime, the report presented in Parliament did not bear that out. “The reports we saw today are totally unacceptable. These numbers can’t be right. The same problems with the sampling methodology and suspiciously low levels non-compliance are evident year on year, without change,” said the attorney in the LHR Gender Equality Programme, Sonja Bornman. Bornman said serious questions were raised about the ability of the secretariat to monitor SAPS compliance at the provincial level, and the validity of the data points presented. “Provinces have

SILENCE THE GUNS; NOT THE CHILDREN

  • June 2017
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MEDIA STATEMENT SILENCE THE GUNS; NOT THE CHILDREN   Issued by Childsafe South Africa and Gun Free South Africa, Wednesday 7 June 2017: South Africa’s gun violence is reaching critical proportions as the country is embroiled in a gun violence epidemic affecting the safety of the most vulnerable.   While marking the 2017 Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence (5 to 12 June) – an international campaign to stop the circulation  and misuse of firearms  and  ammunition – guns are wreaking havoc on the streets of South Africa, affecting leafy suburbs as much as dusty townships. Across the world communities are highlighting the scourge of gun violence and calling for actions to silence the guns.   Children as the victims of gun violence are in media headlines almost every day: Schools in a war zone; Woman shoots three children before turning gun on herself; Drive-by-shooting claims life of rising soccer player and two others. South Africa’s gun violence happens daily; the names of victims fleeting, if ever reported, and their voices silenced forever.   In February 2010, three-year-old Leshay

Gun Free South Africa’s response to the killing of Mandla Hlatshwayo

  • May 2017
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TIME TO STOP EVERYDAY GUN VIOLENCE. Gun Free South Africa’s response to the killing of Mandla Hlatshwayo. Gun Free South Africa welcomes the statements from the Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula highlighting the importance of using the Firearms Control Act to remove guns and save lives. While the Minister’s words are welcomed, GFSA urges the minister to act with urgency. The sad death of Mandla Hlatshwayo, who was shot and killed in an armed robbery is another life snuffed out because of gun violence. He is one of 16 people killed that day because their murderers had access to a gun. Enough is enough. The Minister of Police has the power to implement change and directly limit access to firearms and save lives by doing the following: 1: Bring an amendment to parliament to strengthen the Firearms Control Act 2 Enforcement of the Firearms Control Act 3: Implement a no questions asked Firearms Amnesty 4: Implement intelligence-driven operations to recover and remove illegal guns Change will only be activated if the above is taken on as a multi-pronged approach and

Gun Free South Africa has been admitted as Amicus

  • April 2017
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Gun Free South Africa has been admitted as Amicus (Friend of the Court) in the matter between the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association (the applicant) and the Minister of Safety and Security (the respondent). The case will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th April 2017. The applicant (the SA Hunters) seeks an order declaring sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act (FCA) unconstitutional. Section 24 deals with the renewal of firearms licences: any person who wants to renew a licence must make his or her application at least 90 days before the expiry date of the licence. Section 28 concerns the terminations of firearm licences and states: that if a firearm licence has been cancelled, the firearm must be disposed of through a dealer within 60 days, otherwise it must be forfeited to the State. GFSA’s intervention as Friend of the Court is to assist the court in determining whether or not sections 24 and 28 of the FCA are unconstitutional. GFSA argues that these two sections are

2016-02-15: Guns and smoke as Cavendish jeweller robbed

  • February 2017
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Police are investigating a business robbery after four armed men robbed Trigg Jewellers in Cavendish Square on Sunday morning. The same jewellery shop was robbed about five months ago. Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said Sunday’s robbery took place at around 11.30am. “The suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of jewellery. No one has been arrested at this stage.” Van Wyk said police were still searching for the men. Witnesses said at least two armed men barged into the shop and demanded all customers to lie on the floor. A woman, who works at a shop close to Trigg Jewellers, said they only realised something was wrong when the smoke detector went off. The woman, who declined to be named, added: “Immediately after the smoke went out we saw four armed men running out of the store. We shut our doors as an emergency measure.” The robbers fired several shots as they left the store and made an escape. Panicked shoppers ducked for cover as shots rang out. The suspects escaped in a Nissan Micra. The Gauteng

2014-03-24: Shopkeeper shot dead in front of his wife

  • February 2017
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A businessman has been gunned down by four robbers who were angry because he did not have money in the shop. Sharfoodien Bray, 30, was killed in front of his shocked wife, who said the robbers shot her unarmed husband four times in the back.

2016-03-22: Joburg gun trainer barred following fraudulent certificate sting

  • February 2017
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A Johannesburg firearms trainer, who was caught on camera selling a training certificate to an undercover journalist, has been found guilty on three separate charges by the Professional Firearm Trainers Council (PFTC) on Tuesday. A training certificate is a key document used to apply for a license to possess a firearm. Andre van Tonder, who was filmed at his Skopos Firearm Academy in Johannesburg, was charged with selling certificates and statements of results with no training or assessments having been done, fraudulently uploading of learner achievement to the PFTC learner management system and breach of the PFTC code of conduct. Van Tonder was the Secretary of the PFTC board. National PFTC spokesperson Andre Pretorius said that a committee had found Van Tonder guilty on all three charges. According to the charge sheet, a copy of which is in the possession of News24, Van Tonder "is to be permanently removed from the board and will never be eligible to hold any position within the PFTC ever again. "As an Accredited Training Provider Skopos is to be expelled from the PFTC [de-accredited]. This means de-accredited from the PFTC and the SAPS. "As Moderator, Assessor and Instructor Mr JA Van Tonder is expelled from the PFTC. He is to be de-registered from the PFTC DMS."