From the news desk

Gun Violence continues to claim more young lives on Cape Flats

Share this article

By Ragheema Mclean

Gun violence continues to spiral out of control across the Cape Flats, claiming more young lives in its wake.

On Tuesday, 18 June, an 18-year-old male was shot and killed in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain.

Police Sergeant Wesley Twigg reported that police responded to the crime scene and found the victim with a gunshot wound to his head.

“The victim was declared deceased on the scene by medical personnel. The motive for the attack is yet to be determined. The suspects fled the scene and are yet to be arrested,” Twigg stated.

Furthermore, in another tragic incident on the same day, Delft police confirmed the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy.

SAPS Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi explained, “At around 16:50, Delft police responded to a complaint at a local medical facility. Upon their arrival, they found the body of the 13-year-old boy who had sustained a gunshot wound to his head. The victim was declared deceased on the scene by medical personnel.”

Latest figures from the Western Cape Health Department reveal that between January 1 and June 12, 333 children with firearm-related injuries were treated at public health facilities in the Western Cape.

During the same period, 58 children lost their lives in shooting incidents, including those as young as 12 months old.

GunFree SA, an NGO dedicated to reducing gun violence, highlighted the grim reality that gunshot wounds have been the leading cause of non-abuse-related child murders since 2014.

Speaking on VOC Breakfast, Director of Gun Free SA Adele Kirsten expressed deep concern.

“These figures are very alarming and concerning. The impact on families and society is enormous, affecting our health system and traumatizing communities with high levels of gun violence,” Kirsten said.

“We’re barely six months into this year, and the death toll of children from gun violence has already surged. This is partly due to the ready availability of guns.”

Kirsten highlighted the need for collective action to make communities safer, despite the challenges posed by the easy accessibility of firearms.

“We are hopeful that with new MEC governance in the province this may provide an opportunity for some kind of pressure and action to explore solutions that all role players both communities and police.”

Meanwhile, crime activist and Child & Human Rights Defender, Zona Morton has called for a more direct and aggressive approach to addressing the issue.

“We must be direct and aggressive and tell the narrative. Fifty-eight deaths from January to June is not a true reflection of the actual statistics,” Morton said.

She criticized the term “crossfire” as a convenient way to downplay the urgency of these tragedies.

“A lot of these shootings where children are tragically killed are intentional. The narrative that a child died in crossfire makes it seem like an accident, which reduces the urgency to act.”

Morton further urged local ministers to recognize the severity of the situation. “I need our local ministers to wake up and smell the roses. Our children are dying every day.”

VOC News

Photo: Pexels

Share this article
WhatsApp WhatsApp us
Wait a sec, saving restore vars.