Articles and Posts

Black Masculinities on Trial in Absentia: The Case of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa

  • November 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
This article explores the social representation of black masculinities as violent in the globally publicized case of the murder by Oscar Pistorius of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. This murder and the subsequent media interest it generated highlighted the manner in which fear of crime in South Africa, particularly amongst certain sectors of the population such as white, male gun owners and gun lobbyists, (including Pistorius and his family members) contributed to assertions about their right to own guns to defend their families and possessions against this perceived threat. FULL JOURNAL ARTICLE BELOW: Black man at Oscar Pistorios trial in absentia

Joint Media Statement: Immediate action needed to reduce SA political violence

  • October 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
With elections fast approaching, specific strategies can reduce high levels of violence associated with political contestation. Issued by Gun Free South Africa in partnership with the Democracy Works Foundation, Human Sciences Research Council, Institute for Security Studies and Society, Work and Politics Institute at Wits University on Thursday, 25 October 2018 A range of interventions to reduce the risk and lethality of political violence must be part of South Africa’s preparations for 2019 national government elections. Speakers at a workshop hosted by leading civil society organisations and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) called for immediate steps to bring down the high levels of political violence in the country. Delegates at the meeting hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Gun Free SA, SALGA and the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) at WITS University heard that South Africa’s ranking in the 2018 Global Peace Index has dropped because of the increase in violent demonstrations and political violence in the country. South Africa currently ranks as the 125th most peaceful country in the

Media statement: Responding to 2017/18 national crime statistics

  • October 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
Urgent action to reduce gun availability key to curing SA’s violent crime epidemic 11 September 2018:  The latest national crime statistics show that guns are overwhelmingly the weapon of choice to kill, injure, threaten and intimidate: A shocking 41.3% of murders and 59.5% of aggravated robberies in 2017/18 were gun-related. The vast majority of these crimes involve handguns: Between 1999/2000 and 2013/14, handguns were used in 94% of murders and 97% of aggravated robberies. Violent crime has not been this high since late 1990, when the number of guns in South Africa peaked.  Government’s response to the 1990’s crime wave focused on reducing the availability of guns in communities e.g. through police operations to recover and destroy illegal guns and stricter controls (including the Firearms Control Act, 2000) to regulate legal gun ownership in recognition that the majority of illegal guns were once legal before being leaked into the illegal pool. As the number of guns in South Africa declined between 2000 and 2010, so too did violent crime. However, in 2011 these gains began reversing as evidence of poor

Media Statement: 4 Key Factors for a Successful Firearms Amnesty in SA

  • October 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
23 July 2018: Gun Free South Africa welcomes Police Minister Bheki Cele’s announcement to parliament of his intention to declare a 6-month national firearms amnesty under Section 139 of the Firearms Control Act starting 1 September 2018. The primary objective of an amnesty is to remove illegal guns. Globally, amnesties are recognised as an effective mechanism to reduce the availability of illegal, unwanted and obsolete guns in circulation, and the associated risk of gun-related violence. There are 4 vital factors which determine how successful the proposed 2018-19 amnesty will be in mopping up illegal guns in South Africa. The most successful amnesties are those in which: No questions are asked (called a blanket amnesty). Guns are handed in at the neutral venues, rather than at police stations. Guns are immobilised at point of hand-in to reduce the risk that they will leak back into communities. There is clear and regular communication with stakeholders. South Africa has already held two very successful national firearms amnesties, which collected over 40,000 illegal guns in 2005 and 2010. However, the 2016 case of Christiaan Prinsloo

Media Statement: International Gun Destruction Day 2018

  • July 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
Government’s failure to destroy guns feeds gun violence crisis in SA Monday, 9 July 2018: Today is International Gun Destruction Day. Today 21 people will be shot and killed in South Africa because of government’s failure to comply with its international gun control obligations. Under the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (called the UN PoA), adopted by consensus by UN Member States in 2001 South Africa is obligated to: Destroy surplus firearms, including surrendered, confiscated and obsolete weapons held by the police, defence force and other state departments to minimise the risk that these guns will leak into communities. Submit annual reports on compliance with the UN PoA to the UN Secretary General. South Africa has failed on both fronts, and the result is lives lost: Between 2012 and 2017, South Africa submitted just one national report (in 2014) to the UN; in contrast SA’s neighbours submitted an average of three reports over this period. Poor weapon stockpile management and record-keeping by the

Briefing 3 of 2018: Constitutional Court unanimously rules regular gun licence renewal is constitutional: What next?

  • June 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
On 7 June 2018 the Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act (2000), under which gun owners must renew their firearm licences on a regular basis or forfeit guns for which licences have expired to the state, are constitutional. In making its judgement, the ConCourt ruled that gun ownership is not a fundamental right under the Bill of Rights, rather it is a privilege regulated by the Firearms Control Act (FCA). Under the Act: No person may possess a gun without a valid licence; A firearm licence is valid for a limited period of time; and Unless a gun owner has renewed his gun licence before expiry, he has committed a criminal offence and is subject to penalties. The ConCourt ruling has the potential to kickstart the implementation of the FCA. It gives a clear directive to SAPS to properly enforce the law and to gun owners to comply with the law. As soon as one of these parties act, the other will be forced to respond, helping close the implementation ‘vacuum’ feeding

Gun Free SA welcomes Constitutional Court ruling that regular gun licence renewals constitutional

  • June 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
Constitutional Court, 7 June 2018: Gun Free South Africa welcomes this morning’s ruling by the Constitutional Court, which upholds the constitutionality of regular gun licence renewals. Under section 24 and section 28 of the Firearms Control Act (2000), all gun owners are required to renew their firearm licences on a regular basis. In 2016 the South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association challenged these sections, arguing they are vague and irrational, breached the right of equality and deprived gun owners of their property, as a gun owner who fails to renew his licence in time, and is thus in possession of an unlicensed weapon, must forfeit his gun to the state. The Constitutional Court ruled that gun ownership is not a fundamental right under our Bill of Rights, rather it is a privilege regulated by the Firearms Control Act.  Under the Act: No person may possess a gun without a valid licence; A firearm licence is valid for a limited period of time; and Unless a gun owner has renewed his gun licence before expiry, he has committed a criminal

Brief 2 0f 2018: Cape Town proves strong gun laws save lives, lax enforcement kills, illegally supplied guns more dangerous in short term

  • May 2018
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
Over the years we have consistently raised concern that poor enforcement of the Firearms Control Act (2000) has led to thousands of people being shot and killed. Published research from South Africa now proves this link. In sum, the researchers show that known breakdowns in the enforcement of the Firearms Control Act by the police whereby guns leaked onto the Cape Flats has resulted in Cape Flats communities being shot and killed at a much higher rate than other Cape Town communities. Briefing 2 has been developed in support of the IANSA Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence (7-14 May 2018). The theme for this year’s campaign is: “End the Crisis of Gun Violence”.  South Africa’s own experience shows that strong gun laws save lives, lax enforcement kills, and that illegally channelled guns kill more people in the short term. We have a world class gun law, which, as this Briefing shows, has saved thousands of lives; if it’s properly enforced it has the potential to end the crisis of gun violence sweeping across South Africa and save thousands

Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa and the Western Cape Association for People with Disabilities (WCAPD) calls for urgent action on preventable disabilities

  • December 2017
  • Posted By GunFreeSA
  • 0 Comments
03 December 2017:  Gun Free South Africa and the Western Cape Association for People with Disabilities (WCAPD) call for urgent action on preventable disabilities Gun Violence claims the lives of an estimated 18-21 people every day according to the 2016/2017 crime stats which means that between 35% – 40% of all murders were committed with a gun. For every one person shot and killed 3-4 people survive a gun shot, with many sustaining injuries often resulting in severe disabilities as well as physical and emotional trauma. With violence rates much higher than the global average, gun injuries still present a significant burden to health, justice and social welfare systems in South Africa. “The financial burden of disability as a consequence of gun violence is far-reaching. The Department of Health’s budget for rehabilitation is already severely limited, as is our own, which means that we simply cannot continue providing support to an ever-increasing pool of beneficiaries,” says Erica du Toit, WCAPD Awareness Raising Coordinator. She goes on to emphasise that, “The long-term effect on the economy of persons who are unable