The Justice and Peace Department joined international organisations to raise awareness about guns and gun violence. St Francis De Sales, in Lawley Kristo Nkosi, Kwa-Thema and St Francis of Assisi, Yeoville organised talks during Mass.
“A gun is often present in a huge number of violent incidents, but it goes undetected and almost unnoticed. A gun is often one of the obvious common denominators in political killings; suicide; femicide; family killings; crime and robbery; car hijackings; cash-in-transit heists; taxi violence; and gang violence. It is so obviously present, but few seem to see it – and therefore it stubbornly remains unspoken of,” said Joseph Dube, head of the Justice and Peace Department.
It is not surprising then that South Africa is one of the 10 most violent countries in the world: 21 people are shot and killed in SA every day. Of these, 21 are gun-related deaths, 19 are men, mostly young men between the ages of 18 and 24; and two are women, who are most likely killed by their intimate partners owning legal guns.
“Our children are also not immune to gun violence, especially those living in urban areas with gangs in their communities. For example, between 2010 and 2015, 261 children were shot in the Western Cape, of whom 89 were killed. The guns used in their murders were stolen by a police officer and sold to gang leaders in the Western Cape,” said Joseph.