Articles and Posts

Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa’s response to loss of 2000 guns by police in 4 years

  • November 2017
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1 November 2017: The Minister of Police has admitted that 2027 guns were stolen from police armouries in the last four years. These guns are now part of the illegal pool of guns, and outside of any control. Every illegal gun in South Africa begins life as a legal gun. Legal guns leak into the illegal market in 3 ways: Fraud and corruption in gun licensing, which means unfit people are granted legal guns; Smuggling of legal guns between countries; Loss and theft of guns, which is the greatest source of illegal guns. Figures from the police show that police lose an average of 2 guns a day, while civilians lose an average of 20 guns a day. Once a legal gun leaks into the illegal market, there are no laws regulating who can own or use it or how it can be used. Because guns are robust commodities, they can be used over and over again to commit crimes. There are two ways to get rid of illegal guns: Mop up illegal guns and close the tap leaking guns

2016-17 Crime stats: Guns fuel violent crime – 18 to 21 murders committed with guns every day

  • October 2017
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MEDIA STATEMENT: Gun Free South Africa’s response to 2016-17 crime stats ( 24 October 2017)  Poor enforcement of gun control laws is leaking guns from the legal to the illegal pool and driving South Africa’s year-on-year increase in violent crime. Latest crime statistics show murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances – crimes most likely committed with a gun – have increased for the fifth year running. In 2016-17, 51 people were murdered every day, 343 more people than in the previous year (an 1.8% increase), attempted murders were up by 78 (0.4%), while 8,429 more robberies with aggravating circumstances were committed (a 6.4% increase to 140,956). Although the police must be commended for recovering an additional 1,362 illegal firearms and rounds of ammunition in 2016-17, Gun Free South Africa is concerned that this 9% improvement is due to the greater availability of guns, instead of improvements in policing. Since 2012, South Africa has seen a steady rise in violent crime, with murder increasing a staggering 22%, from a low of 15,554 murders in 2011-12 to 19,016 in 2016-17.

International Day of Peace

  • October 2017
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As part of the International Day of Peace, The International Action Network on Small Arms -the global movement against gun violence, launched an international campaign raising awareness about the epidemic of gun violence. As part of the campaign they asked their members to join a special worldwide singing event called the Concert Across the World to End Gun Violence. The campaign ran from the 21st to the 24th of September. Gun Free South Africa teamed up with 27-year- old singer Andrea Bendie from Capricorn Park in Cape Town who sang a rendition of the anti-gun violence song “Nothing More,” by the band The Alternate Routes. View her video below.  

Youth radio broadcasters build safer communities across South Africa

  • October 2017
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The Children’s Radio Foundation, in partnership with Gun Free South Africa and funding support by the European Union, will launch a two-year initiative to promote safety in communities across South Africa. Using the power of radio, youth broadcasters will ignite community dialogues about youth experiences of violence, and get young people involved in making their communities safer. August 2017, Cape Town. Violence is one of the leading causes of death and injury in South Africa, with 16 people on average killed by guns each day.  Several studies have suggested that youth who grow up in violent families and communities are more likely to become violent in adolescence and adulthood. While the dynamics of violence vary from community to community, youth across the country live in fear, and often feel paralyzed by their concerns around safety. For me there are no safe areas in my community because guns are everywhere. Kids can take them to school, at home we have guns, so according to me there are no safe areas in my community. — Youth reporter, Greater Lebowakgomo FM (Limpopo Province)

World Mental Health Day

  • October 2017
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PRESS RELEASE: World Mental Health Day 10th October 2017 Five Things You Need To Know About Guns And Suicide 10 October 2017: Guns are the most lethal suicide method. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 17% of all suicides are committed using a firearm, these types of suicide attempts are almost always fatal and also the most preventable. October has been declared Mental Health Awareness month by the Department of Health and the 10th of October, World Mental Health Day, it’s aim to educate the public about mental health and to both support and reduce the discrimination that people with mental illness may experience. The month is also used to highlight interventions to assist those living with a mental illness, and to prevent the most fatal result of a mental illness – suicide. While there are many factors that push someone to suicide, a growing body of research indicates that intent isn’t all that determines whether someone commits suicide, how people attempt suicide is also important. The WHO’s most recent publication on suicide prevention, Preventing suicide: A global imperative,

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