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What’s Behind The Recent Mass Killings in SA? – Experts Unpack

Umamah Bakharia

In the past few weeks, South Africa has been witnessing mass killings across the country.

In the lastest, four people were killed and two others injured in a shooting in Thembelihle informal settlement in Lenasia.

While in Alexandra an armed robbery claimed the lives of about six people, among them Alex FM music manager Joshua Mbatha. In earlier attacks, 22 people died in three violent shootings in three provinces.

There have been many have been speculating on what could possibly be behind the rise of gun-related incidents in the country.



Radio Islam discussed this further with criminologist and political scientist, Dr Guy Lamb and Gauteng MMC for Public Safety David Tembe.

“We have to work very closely with the community to deal with this type of criminality,” says MMC Tembe.

Criminologist, Dr Guy Lamb according to statistics, the country is witnessing an increase in gang violence, extortion, illegal mining, robberies and vigilante activities. “So there are all these different types of collective violence happening but the one that seems to kind of effect this is the wide availability of illegal firearms and the unlimited access to ammunition,” says Dr Lamb.

While the police have been conducting investigations, MMC Tembe says technology needs to be utilised to track criminals. “Every year the CPS destroys thousands of firearms but still we have the issue of illegal firearms,” says MMC Tembe.

Dr Lamb advises that visible policing should be done around firearms, and work with communities to identify the key problems and rebuild crime intelligence. “Having that is very important in breaking down and interrupt organised crime,” he says.

Police say there are still investigating but add that there is no connection between the killings.


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