SALW: Gun Violence Strikes IANSA Family

Defend International has received sad news from the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) about the shocking event in which the 13-year-old Ntombifuthi Mbatha was wounded in South Africa. Dr. Widad sent her best wishes for Ntombi’s speedy recovery.

Tragic Event

The message was sent to Defend International President Dr. Widad.  The tragic event involved the 13-year-old girl who had just lost her grandfather. Ntombi was shot in the back by a man who tried to steal her family’s car. Ntombi is the daughter of Mr. Joseph Dube, an activist with whom Dr. Widad has collaborated on various occasions, including the ATT meetings that took place in the UN/New York, the UK and Egypt.

On behalf of Defend International, Dr. Widad sent her deepest sympathies to IANSA, Mr. Dube and his family at this difficult time, and best wishes for Ntombi’s speedy recovery.  “Our hearts and thoughts are with them all,” she said.


Part of IANSA Message

A shocking event occurred this week: the 13-year-old daughter of IANSA’s Africa Coordinator Joseph Dube was shot and severely wounded.

Ntombifuthi Mbatha was shot in the back by a man armed with a pistol who was trying to steal the family’s car. The bullet lodged next to her spinal column, requiring four hours of neurosurgery to remove it. Ntombi remains in critical condition in hospital.
The shooting occurred on Tuesday 31 July in an attempted ‘carjacking’ outside the family’s home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ntombi was in the car with her parents and her uncle, Joseph’s brother. They had just returned from the funeral of Joseph’s father. Two men attempted to steal the car, and may have planned to gain entry to the house. As the family tried to drive away, one man fired a shot into the car, hitting Ntombi in the lower back. The men then escaped. The police have recovered the bullet casing from the scene.

We do not yet know what long-term physical damage Ntombi will suffer, but the whole family has been severely traumatised by this awful event. This incident reminds us of the threat of gun violence faced by South Africans every day. Joseph Dube is a long-time activist for gun control and well -known to many members throughout the global network.