Residents of Marite outside Hazyview in Mpumalanga are still shocked after an 87-year-old man allegedly shot and injured his 15-year-old grandson for blocking his driveway with a brick.
Locals say Ambros Mlimi got incensed after Sheppard Ngwenya and his friends blocked his driveway with bricks while playing in the street.
He pulled out his firearm and allegedly shot the teenager in the lower body. Ngwenya was rushed to Mapulaneng Hospital with serious body injuries.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala confirmed the incident.
“The mother of the boy was at work when she received a call informing her that her son had been shot by his grandfather. The suspect allegedly told the mother that her son is disrespectful towards him, and as a result, he shot him,” Mohlala said.
“She rushed home, and on arrival, she found her son bleeding and had open wounds on the lower back side of his body. The victim was transported to Mapulaneng Hospital for medical treatment. The suspect was arrested immediately, and a firearm was confiscated.”
Mlimi was denied bail by the Mkhuhlu Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, and he will appear again at the same court on Thursday.
Claire Tylor, a researcher from the lobby group Gun Free South Africa (GFSA), said the shooting incident highlights how the presence of a gun “can turn anger into murder.”
“Guns are designed to kill – with just a finger pull of the trigger; you can kill a person from a distance. Owning a gun is a huge risk for everyone. For the gun owner, who is four times more likely to be shot when attacked than a non-gun owner, for their community as their lost/stolen gun can arm a criminal, and for their family, as people who live with a gun owner are two times more likely to be murdered compared to those living in gun-free homes,” Tylor said.
Tylor reiterated that her organization urgently needs coordinated action to reduce the number of guns in the communities to help build a safer, more secure country.
Recent statistics released by the South African Police Service revealed that 31 people are shot dead daily in South Africa due to the wide availability of guns.
Gun dealers in South Africa have reported increased demand for firearms and ammunition, particularly following the July 2021 unrest.
Research in the USA has already linked pandemic gun sales to increased gun-related deaths in that country.