A few days after AfriForum’s media conference on prosecuting Julius Malema, where the organisation warned against the reckless firing of shots, a policewoman died in just such an incident.
A member of the public fired random shots into the air at a police member’s funeral in Soweto on 13 July 2019. One of the bullets hit a police constable in the upper body and killed her. The suspect was immediately arrested, and his firearm seized.
The civil rights watchdog indicated at a media conference in Centurion on 10 July 2019 that they would approach the court with a mandamus application to compel the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to take a decision on the prosecution of Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, in three pending cases against him. One of the cases includes the firing of shots with an assault rifle. AfriForum has already laid complaints against Malema in August 2018 at the Lyttelton Police Station after he had fired several shots with an assault rifle during the EFF’s five-year anniversary festivities in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape. A video of the incident was shared widely on social media.
AfriForum’s warning that such reckless behaviour would create a dangerous precedent if the SAPS and NPA failed to act against him felt on deaf ears, however. The action of firing firearms into the air has taken hold – notwithstanding other people’s safety.
“AfriForum also informed the SAPS earlier this year of various incidences where people illegally fired firearms, but the SAPS fails to take the situation seriously and arrest the culprits. It is sad that a woman had to die first before the SAPS was spurred to action. The ongoing neglect of the NPA to prosecute Malema will encourage people to continue this dangerous act,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety.