Durban - Gun Free South Africa believes the gun situation in South Africa has reached alarming proportions. The organisation which advocates for a gun free society, says the responsibility of ridding SA of guns relies squarely on the shoulders of the police.
GFSA’s Adele Kirsten was speaking to The Mercury following two shootings at the weekend that claimed the lives of two men.
On Sunday, a man was killed following a road rage incident outside the Durban Christian Centre.
Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said a taxi and a bakkie were involved in a collision just after 11am.
“The owner of the taxi arrived at the scene and an argument ensued between the driver of the bakkie and the taxi owner. The driver of the bakkie attempted to grab the owner’s firearm. The taxi owner managed to take his firearm and a fired shot towards the other driver. The victim sustained a gunshot wound to the left side of the body and died at the scene,” she said.
Gwala said the shooter, believed to be in his 40s, was arrested and charged for murder. Mayville SAPS are investigating further.
Just hours before, a man died in hospital after he was shot following an altercation in Moses Kotane (Sparks) Road.
The shooting is believed to have stemmed from a fight in a taxi.
Gwala said a Metro Police officer was seated inside the taxi when two passengers began arguing.
“The police officer intervened and tried to calm both parties. The taxi was brought to a halt by the driver and the fighting occupants alighted. The suspect drew a firearm and pointed towards an unknown man. The police officer placed himself on duty and ordered the suspect to lower his firearm. The suspect cocked the firearm and it jammed whilst pointing towards the officer,” she said.
Gwala said the officer drew his state-issued firearm and fired at the man.
“He was shot in the chest, shoulder and abdomen. A 9mm pistol was recovered from the suspect. He was rushed to hospital where he later died,” she said.
Gwala added that further investigation revealed that the firearm used by the deceased, was taken in an armed robbery in Eshowe last year. She said the matter had been handed over to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate for further investigation.
Commenting on the shootings, Kirsten said GFSA is “alarmed and frustrated” about the shootings.
Kirsten noted the recent shooting of nine-year-old Sadia Sukhraj, killed during a botched hijacking in Shallcross last week. On Thursday, a father was shot dead in front of his two children during another botched hijacking in Avoca.
“In South Africa, 21 people are killed every day by a gun. Gun violence is out of control. In KwaZulu-Natal, gun violence statistics are particularly high due to political killings and taxi violence. The increase in gun violence comes from poor control when it comes to issuing licenses, fraud and corruption. We are waiting for government to strengthen the existing gun laws, however there has been instability with SAPS with new leadership,” she said.
Kirsten said while they applauded the community’s stance, calling for a gun free country, there was only so much that the community could do.
Last week, police minister, General Bheki Cele, said a firearm amnesty had been approved by cabinet. He said an announcement on the amnesty will be made in due course.
Kirsten said GFSA supported the move, however the terms and conditions thereof needed to be discussed in detail first.