SALW: Gun Violence Strikes Girl in South Africa

Defend International has received sad news about the shocking event in which the 13-year-old Ntombifuthi Mbatha was wounded in South Africa. Dr. Widad sends 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 sends her support to Mr. Dube and his family at this difficult time, and best wishes for Ntombi’s speedy recovery.  “Our hearts and thoughts are with all of you,” she said.


Background information
A shocking event had occurred on Tuesday 31 July: the 13-year-old daughter of Mr. Joseph Dube, member of Catholic Justice and peace, was shot and severely wounded outside the family’s home in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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.

Ntombi was in the car with her parents and her uncle after returning from the funeral of Joseph’s father. Two men attempted to steal their car. As the family tried to drive away, one man fired a shot at the car, hitting Ntombi in the lower back.

While the long-term physical damage Ntombi will suffer is still unknown, her family is severely traumatised by this awful event. This incident demonstrates the threat of gun violence to public safety and public health.