Call for Police to Address Unlawful Shooting
07 September 2021 – For immediate release
"The criminal and life-threatening practice of firing guns into the air at funerals and rallies in South Africa has to be ended immediately. Safe Citizen is extremely concerned about the proliferation of this idiotic behaviour and even more concerned that the silence of the police leadership on this matter may be viewed as condonation of the practice."
"For a 75-year-old woman in a care home on Sunday morning the funeral of Kebby Maphatsoe, will be remembered as the day that she was wounded by a stray bullet - one of dozens fired into the air at the funeral – had she been stuck in the head, there would most likely be another funeral."
"Social media in South Africa has long been populated by video clips of persons who could best be described as unlawful idiots discharging shots into the air at political rallies and funerals. In many instances, the event and its attendees are easy to identify on camera and registration plates of cars parked in the close vicinity are visible, lending a good starting point to a proper investigation."
"This conduct, a number of years ago by Julius Malema and more recently at the homestead of Jacob Zuma are high-profile examples. The incident involving Julius Malema was eventually pursued by the police after civil society brought pressure to bear, whilst the Zuma homestead delinquents appear to have escaped any penalty."
"The three-fold issues at the crux of this matter are simple. A lack of will by the police to immediately react to apprehend suspects, the dearth of action by mature and lawful persons present at these events to stop such behaviour and the unlawful conduct of a gun owner with no respect for the law and the safety of others."
"It is time for police leadership to denounce this activity on national media in the strongest possible terms and for law-abiding citizens to 'call-out' others at rallies and funerals before they start shooting. A gun-owner who behaves in this manner should be subjected to an appropriate investigation and be found unfit to possess a firearm."