Media Releases

  • Joint Media Statement: Immediate action needed to reduce SA political violence. With elections fast approaching, specific strategies can reduce high levels of violence associated with political contestation, 25 October 2018. 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, including limiting the availability of guns to reduce lethality and save lives. Joint Media Statement: Urgent Action To Reduce SA Political Violence

 

  • Media Statement: Responding to 2017/18 National Crime Statistics – 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. Media Statement: GFSA Response 2017/18 Crime Stats

 

  • Media Statement: 4 Key Factors for a Successful Firearms Amnesty in SA, 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.
    There are 4 vital factors which determine how successful the proposed 2018-19 amnesty will be in mopping up illegal guns in South Africa.  Media Statement: 4 Conditions Successful Amnesty

 

  • Media Statement: Gun Free SA welcomes Constitutional Court ruling that regular gun licence renewals are constitutional, 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. 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. Media Statement ConCourt Ruling, 7 June 2018

 

  • Media Statement: Know the law, use the law, save a woman’s or child’s life this 16 Days of Activism, Saturday 25 November 2017: Three women and one child will be shot and killed today. By the end of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, 48 women and 16 children will have been shot dead; while a further 192 women and 64 children will have been shot and injured, possibly permanently disabled. These deaths are preventable: The removal of guns and prohibition of gun ownership following threats or acts of violence are recognised globally as important interventions that can prevent future violence. Media Statement: Know the law, use the law & save a life this 16 Days of Activism

 

  • Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa’s response to loss of 2000 guns by police in 4 years, 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.  There are two ways to get rid of illegal guns: Mop up illegal guns and close the tap leaking guns into the illegal pool. Media Statement: Response to loss of guns by police

 

  • Media statement: Gun Free South Africa’s response to 2016-17 crime stats: Guns are fueling violent crime – 18 to 21 murders committed with guns every day. 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. Media statement: Response to 2016-17 crime stats

 

  • International Day of Peace Press Release: 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. Read More

 

  • Press Alert: World Mental Health Day 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. Read Full statement here.

 

  • Press Alert: 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. Read Full statement here.

 

 

  • Press Alert: 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. Read Full statement here.

 

  • Press Alert: 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. Read GfSA’s Full statement here.

 

  • Press Alert: 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.
    Read GfSA’s Full statement here.

 

  • Press Alert: Gun Free South Africa has been admitted as Amicus (Friend of the Court) between the SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association and the Minister of Safety and Security. The applicant (the SA Hunters) seeks an order declaring sections 24 and 28 of the Firearms Control Act (FCA) unconstitutional. 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 not only constitutionally proper, but a necessary and effective part of gun control in South Africa.
    Read GfSA’s Full statement here.

 

 

  • Media Statement: No one is Immune to Gun Violence in South Africa Thursday 5 May 2016: A media survey reveals that in just 31 days, 86 people were killed with a gun, and 68 people were injured. Of the total number of deaths and injury reported, 128 were men and 31 were women, including 7 girl children. The cases reported in the media over this period show that firearms are used to kill men, women, and children, young and old, police officers, taxi drivers, security guards, business owners, and alleged gangsters. In short, no one is immune. Media Statement: No one is Immune to Gun Violence in South Africa

 

  • Media Statement: Corruption in firearms industry makes us all a target: Fraudulent issuing of firearms proficiency certificates underscores the risk of a gun in the home as legal gun owners may not have the necessary knowledge and skills to responsibly own a firearm (24 February 2016):  As part of the #GunFreeValentine campaign; Gun Free South Africa and Sonke Gender Justice call for an immediate investigation into the firearms industry after the latest media exposé filmed the Secretary of the South African Professional Firearms Trainers Council selling a fraudulent firearms proficiency certificate to a journalist.  Media Statement: Corruption in firearms industry makes us all a target

 

  • Media Statement: If your partner owns a gun, you could be the next target (Pretoria, 11 February 2016): Gun Free South Africa, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Sonke Gender Justice today launched the #GunFreeValentine campaign to highlight that women in South Africa are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than by a stranger, with firearms in the home posing a specific risk.  Media Statement: If your partner owns a gun, you could be the next target

 

  • Media Statement: Research shows South Africa’s gun law has saved lives, made country safer (Cape Town, 10 November 2015):Evidence that South Africa’s Firearms Control Act (2000) has saved thousands of lives and made South Africa safer was publicised at a seminar hosted by Gun Free South Africa in partnership with the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum and the Institute for Security Studies today. The research presented by Dr Richard Matzopoulos and Professor Naeemah Abrahams shows that:
    • A total of 4,585 lives were saved from gun violence across five South African cities (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria) between 2001 and 2005.
    • While men make up 90% of gun homicide victims, women are most vulnerable to being shot in their home with a licensed gun owned by their intimate partner.
    • The number of women shot and killed halved between 1999 and 2009, from 32% to 17%, slightly improving South Africa’s femicide rate; while four women were killed every day by their intimate partner in 1999, in 2009 this decreased to three intimate partner murders a day.

    Media Statement: Research shows SA’s gun law saved lives, made country safer

 

  • Media Statement: Anniversary of Senzo Meyiwa’s murder falls within International Disarmament Week: Take action to stop gun violence (26 October 2015): In the 12 months since Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead, 6,500 other South Africans have been shot and killed, the majority of whom are young men like Meyiwa; yet no concrete steps have been taken to prevent gun violence despite unprecedented calls for government action. Media Statement: Anniversary Senzo Meyiwa murder: Take action to stop gun violence

 

  • Media Statement: Guns Fuel Violent Crime: Gun Free South Africa’s response to 2014-15 crime stats (29 September 2015): Corruption in the firearms control management system is driving South Africa’s year-on-year increase in violent crime. Says Adèle Kirsten, Gun Free South Africa’s spokesperson, firearm-related fraud and corruption has channelled guns into the wrong hands, which is fuelling violent crime in South Africa, as the latest crime statistics released today show.  Annual police statistics reveal that violent crime has steadily increased since 2012, with the 2014/15 police stats show that murder has increased by 4.6% from 2013/14; robbery with aggravating circumstances by 8.5% and car-jacking by 14.2%.   This steady increase in violent crime coincides with a breakdown in the firearms control management system. Media Statement: Guns Fuel Violent Crime – GFSA response to 2014/15 crime stats

 

  • Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa, Sonke Gender Justice and Women’s Legal Centre launch campaign “Know the Law, Use the Law, Save a Life: Domestic Violence and Dangerous Weapons” (12 August 2015): As we celebrate another Women’s Month in South Africa, violence against women continues unabated. For many families there is little cause for celebration:  the family of Sowela Nkuna, killed by her police husband in Alexandra in June this year and the family of Reeva Steenkamp, as the person responsible for her death, Oscar Pistorius, is due for release after less than a year in prison.  While women make up just 10% of gun homicide victims in South Africa, firearms still play a significant role in violence against women; guns are used to kill, rape, threaten and intimidate.  The message of this joint campaign is very simple: know the law, use the law, save a life. Media Statement: Know the Law, Use the Law, Save a Woman’s Life

 

  • Media Statement: Applaud SA destruction of firearms on International Gun Destruction Day (9 July 2015): Gun Free South Africa applauds the state’s destruction of firearms today, International Gun Destruction Day, at Arcelor Mittal Steel Factory, Vereeniging.  Today’s destruction as significant for 3 reasons: Firstly, it represents an act of solidarity with all those whose lives have been devastated by gun violence as many of the firearms destroyed today were used to murder, injure, threaten and intimidate innocent people. Secondly, today’s event demonstrates South Africa’s compliance with international practice regarding the destruction of firearms. Finally, by destroying these guns, SAPS is ensuring that they can never find their way back into circulation – to kill, injure or threaten anyone. Destroying these guns has a direct bearing on reducing crime. Less guns means less gun violence…and a safer South Africa for all. Media Statement: Applaud SA destruction on International Gun Destruction Day

 

  • Media Statement: Marikana’s Farlam Commission Fails to Save Lives by Banning R-5s in Crowd Control (26 June 2015): Social justice activist organisation Amandla.Mobi and Gun Free South Africa are deeply disappointed that the Farlam Commission of Enquiry’s report into the 2012 Marikana massacre makes no recommendation to prohibit R-5 rifles – the assault weapon used by police to kill 34 miners – in Public Order Policing. Media Statement: Farlam Commission Fails To Save Lives by Banning R5s

 

  • Media Statement: Police leaving service guns at work would save lives (5 June 2015): Gun Free South Africa urges government to protect police and their families by legislating members to leave service pistols at work when off duty.  GFSA’s call follows the shooting to death of 5 people on Wednesday night, when a police constable shot and killed his girlfriend, two of her relatives and a police colleague at Alexandra police station as she tried to open a domestic abuse case against him; the constable was later killed by police.  Media Statement: Police leave guns at work would save lives

 

  •  Media Statement: Stop Police Using R5 Massacre Rifles (30 January 2015): As the South African Police Service celebrates its 20th anniversary in Kabokweni, Mpumalanga today, social justice activist organisation Amandla.Mobi and Gun Free South Africa partner in a campaign to ban R5 rifles in public order policing.  Media Statement: Stop Police Using R5 Rifles

 

  • Media Statement: Response to SA Football Association’s Gun Control Campaign (4 November 2014): Gun Free South Africa supports the Gun Control Campaign launched by the South African Football Association (SAFA) this morning in honour of Senzo Meyiwa and the 17 other people shot and killed every day in South Africa. Media Statement: GFSA supports SAFA’s Stricter Gun Control Campaign

 

  • Media Statement: Welcome ANC call for stricter gun laws to reduce gun violence (30 October 2014): Gun Free South Africa welcomes the ANC’s call to this morning to “review existing gun control measures with a view to limiting access to guns that end [up] in the wrong hands,” and reducing the number of illegal guns on South African streets. Media Statement: Welcome ANC call to strengthen gun control

 

  • Media Statement: Police Act Key to Ensuring Cops Firearm Fit (29 July 2014): Gun Free South Africa calls for the South African Police Service (SAPS) Act to include a consolidated section dealing specifically with police and firearms in response to the Police Minister’s disclosure that a quarter of the police officers required to carry a firearm are not competent to do so. In a written reply to a parliamentary question, Mr Nhleko reported that by 14 July 2014, 39,333 of 155,534 SAPS members (25%) required to carry a firearm did not have the competency to do so. Media Statement: Police Act key to ensuring cops firearm fit

 

  • Media Statement:  Gun Free South Africa Calls for Moratorium on Gun Licences and Forensic Audit of Central Firearms Registry (1 July 2014): Gun Free South Africa urges the newly appointed Minster of Police, Mr Nhleko, to place a moratorium on the issuing of any new firearm licenses and to conduct a forensic audit of all firearm licences issued since 2010. The arrest of three police officers from the Central Firearms Registry for allegedly issuing fake gun licences including to 28s gang kingpin Ralph Stanfield is yet another example of the unreliability of the firearms control management system.  Fraud and corruption in the gun licensing process allows guns to leak into the illegal pool of weapons; once there they are extremely difficult to mop up, and being robust commodities, are used repeatedly to commit crime. The cost of this breakdown in the integrity of the system is in lives lost and those who are injured and survive – it is too great a cost. Media Statement: Call for gun licence moratorium and forensic audit of CFR

 

  • Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa condemns arms scandal in which corrupt policemen allegedly supply arms and ammunition handed in during amnesty to criminals (4 June 2014):  We call for a complete investigation into how firearms handed in by the public during the 2010 national firearms amnesty have been found in an arms cache discovered in Norwood last month; for every person found guilty of involvement to face the full might of the law as a warning to others; and for every oversight body responsible for monitoring policing in South Africa, including police management, parliament and the Civilian Secretariat of Police, to ensure that systems aimed at safeguarding guns held by the police are implemented. Media Statement: GFSA condemns alleged gun theft by corrupt cops

 

  • Media Statement: Proof – South Africa’s Firearms Control Act has saved thousands of lives (26 April 2014): Evidence that South Africa’s Firearms Control Act (2000) has saved thousands of lives is being presented today at the University of Oxford.  The research, which was published in the March 2014 edition of the reputable American Journal of Public Health, shows that over 4,500 lives were saved from gun violence in five SA cities between 2001 and 2005.  Lead researcher and specialist scientist, Dr Richard Matzopoulos, is presenting his findings at the South African Democracy Conference at the University of Oxford (24-26 April). The purpose of the research was to assess the impact of South Africa’s Firearm Control Act, passed in 2000, on firearm homicide rates in five South African cities (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria) from 2001 to 2005. In total, the research suggests that 4,585 lives were saved across the five cities from 2001 to 2005 because of the Firearms Control Act. Media Statement: Proof – SA’s Firearms Control Act saved thousands of lives

 

  • Two Part Media Q and A for Oscar Pistorius murder trial (10 March 2014):

          PART 1: What Reeva and Oscar’s story says about gun violence in SA Part 1: Oscar Pistorius Q and A

  1. What does Reeva and Oscar’s story tell us about gun violence in South Africa?
  2.  Is the story of Oscar and Reeva unique?
  3. Who owns what guns in South Africa?
  4. Who gets shot and killed in South Africa?
  5. Men, women and gun violence
  6. Can we prevent gun violence?
  7. Can the law prevent gun violence?
  8.  Are guns effective in self defence?

      PART 2: Understanding the gun-related charges against Oscar Part 2: Oscar Pistorius Q and A

  1. Who is allowed to own a gun in SA?  (Gun for self defence  and unfit to own a gun)
  2. List of charges Oscar faces relating to contravening Firearms Control Act  (Detailed information relating to contraventions  and what the Firearms Control Act says in relation to contraventions)

 

  • Media Statement: Guns are 85% more lethal than other suicide means.  Be responsible: Hand in your gun during Teen Suicide Prevention Week (16 February 2014):  Guns are 85% more lethal than any other means used to commit suicide. Gun Free South Africa urges gun owners to be responsible during Teen Suicide Prevention Week (16-22 February 2014) and hand in their guns to the police for destruction.  Says Gun Free South Africa’s spokesperson, Adèle Kirsten, “There are different ways to help prevent suicides, but one step is clear; reducing a suicidal person’s access to a lethal weapon helps save lives.” Media Statement: Be responsible by handing in your gun during Teen Suicide Prevention Week (16-22 Feb)

 

  • Media Statement: What does Reeva Steenkamp’s death tell us about gun violence in SA? Know the Law. Use the Law. Save a Life (14 February 2014): A year ago today Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed by Oscar Pistorius. Apart from being celebrities, Reeva and Oscar’s story is not unique: A man legally buys a gun to protect himself and those he loves from a stranger intruder; instead he uses his licensed gun to kill the person he loves. In 1999, 34% of women murdered by their intimate partner were killed with a gun; in 2009 this figure dropped to 17%. At the same time, the percentage of women killed in other ways (e.g. strangled, stabbed or beaten) remained the same. The researchers at the Medical Research Council assert that the single most important intervention that contributed to halving the number of women shot and killed by their intimate partner was the implementation of the Firearms Control Act (2000). Media Statement: What does Reeva’s death tell us about gun violence?

 

  • Media Statement: Children cannot be gun-proofed (20 September 2013): September 16-22 is the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence; which makes Wednesday’s shooting, in which a 13-year-old accidentally shot his friend with his father’s gun and then shot himself, even more tragic.  The gun, which by law should have been stored unloaded in a safe, was left under a mattress.  In a similar incident last month, a 6-year old shot and killed her best friend with her grandfather’s gun – which was also not safely locked away. Media Statement: Children cannot be gun-proofed

 

  • Media Statement: Gun Free South Africa’s response to release of 2012/13 crime statistics: “Increase in violent crime not surprising” (19 September 2013): Gun Free South Africa is not surprised at the increase in violent crime, in particular the increase in both murder and attempted murder. Over the last two years the organisation has raised concern about the integrity of the firearms control management system, in particular the issuing of firearm licences. Furthermore, trauma surgeons across the country have noted an increase in the number of people presenting with gun shots at tertiary-level hospitals during this same period. Are the increase in the number of firearms in circulation and the increase in both murder and attempted murder connected?Media Statement: “Increase in violent crime not surprising”