gunjpg

'An entire family and community are forever changed because of a single gunshot'

In one of the latest incidents of femicide in South Africa, champion boxer Leighandre Jegels was shot and killed on Friday, allegedly by her police officer boyfriend who has since been arrested.

She reportedly had a protection order against him.

It's this kind of familiar horror story that Gun Free South Africa is trying to highlight with a campaign aimed at parliamentarians and ultimately at changing the Firearms Control Act.

RELATED: 'Once-off interventions are clearly not useful to end gender-based violence'

ALSO RELATED: UN femicide report: 'The most dangerous place for women may be at home.'

GFSA director Adele Kirsten says the group regularly briefs MPs, but this time decided to name and tell the stories of the victims for a specific reason.

We are very good with the numbers, a lot of our campaign is driven by data, but we often forget about the real person.

Adele Kirsten, Director - Gun Free South Africa

If we say she was a ward councillor, she was a nurse, a magistrate - suddenly it becomes very real and I guess part of it is saying to all of us, this could happen to me. These women look familiar, I could see myself there.

Adele Kirsten, Director - Gun Free South Africa

They aren't just numbers, they are someone's loved one and an entire family and a community are forever changed because of one single gunshot.

Adele Kirsten, Director - Gun Free South Africa

Kirsten says the police and the courts have the authority to remove a gun from a home if there is a reported case of domestic violence, but this is poorly enforced.

Among the reasons she cites are a lack of resources, inadequate knowledge of the law and often, also a sense that a domestic incident is "private" and not a police matter.

The GFSA director believes it is essential that the existing gun law be strengthened

RELATED: 'SAPS doesn't have criteria for a successful gun licence application'

There are some important clauses in the law which talk about if you have a conviction under the domestic violence act you are automatically excluded from even entering into the process of applying for a firearm.

Adele Kirsten, Director - Gun Free South Africa

GFSA is hopeful that there will be an amendment within the next year.

Kirsten says even if there is an interim protection order against someone, it should qualify as grounds for the person not to be eligible for gun licensing.

She contrasts the significant drop in intimate femicide between 1999 and 2009 (the gun law came into effect in 2000) with a spike in the last ten years.

Over the last ten years we're seeing this creeping increase.

Adele Kirsten, Director - Gun Free South Africa

She says this is largely due to the inadequate enforcement of the law, which has also led to an increase in the availability of weapons.

Most weapons start off their life as a legal gun and then through a number of avenues, through loss and theft, fraud and corruption and a bit through cross-border trade, they go into the illegal market.

Adele Kirsten, Director - Gun Free South Africa

Both legal and illegal weapons are used to commit murder against women.

Adele Kirsten, Director - Gun Free South Africa

Click on the link below to listen to this important conversation:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'An entire family and community are forever changed because of a single gunshot'


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Collapse of travel giant Thomas Cook will lead to job losses in SA - reports

Collapse of travel giant Thomas Cook will lead to job losses in SA - reports

British global travel group Thomas Cook has fallen, leaving thousands of tourists stranded. Here's how South Africa is affected.

Why checking your blood pressure is more important than you may think

Why checking your blood pressure is more important than you may think

Dr. Fundile Nyathi says primary hypertension can lead to many health complications if it is not detected early on.

Stolen guns recovered in Mitchells Plain and Bellville

Stolen guns recovered in Mitchells Plain and Bellville

Hawks' Captain Philane Nkwalase and JP Smith talk about efforts to bring down the number of stolen police guns on the streets.

1000 Men's March to raise awareness against gender-based violence a success

1000 Men's March to raise awareness against gender-based violence a success

City of Joburg health and social development MMC Dr Mpho Phalatse weighs in on the event's achievement.

'Once-off interventions are clearly not useful to end gender-based violence'

'Once-off interventions are clearly not useful to end gender-based violence'

University of Stellenbosch Business School researcher Professor Anita Bosch discusses interventions to deal with the scourge.

UN femicide report: 'The most dangerous place for women may be at home.'

UN femicide report: 'The most dangerous place for women may be at home.'

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime released a report on femicide rates globally, and Africa ranks as the worst offender.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] The royal visit according to Coconut Kelz!

[LISTEN] The royal visit according to Coconut Kelz!

The Queen of Caucasity Coconut Kelz shares her thoughts on Prince Harry and his 'sgebenga' wife as they tour South Africa.

Your financial advisor probably earns a commission. That’s a huge problem

Your financial advisor probably earns a commission. That’s a huge problem

Your advisor’s "free" advice may cost you dearly. Pay by the hour, warns personal finance expert Warren Ingram.

Gautrain Sandton water cut until Gupta-linked company pays City R8m - Mashaba

Gautrain Sandton water cut until Gupta-linked company pays City R8m - Mashaba

Joburg City mayor explains the irregularities around ownership of the Gautrain Sandton Station land by Cedar Park Properties.

4 things you should never say if you want to get rich

4 things you should never say if you want to get rich

Don’t ever say or, worse, believe any of these wealth-destroying platitudes, implores personal finance expert Warren Ingram.

'We have evidence that the EFF and Julius Malema took bribes for tenders'

'We have evidence that the EFF and Julius Malema took bribes for tenders'

Arabile Gumede interviews Stefaans Brummer, a journalist at the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

46 women rescued in Joburg sex trafficking raid

46 women rescued in Joburg sex trafficking raid

An expert on human trafficking explains how the syndicate operates and how women are lured into dens.