“Real peace never comes from the barrel of a gun”
GFSA Patron Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
7 October 1931 – 26 December 2021
26 December 2021: It is with great regard and sadness that Gun Free South Africa marks the passing of our beloved patron, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
The Arch, who himself admitted that he couldn’t, and wouldn’t shut up in the face of injustice, was a moral compass for the world, who lived his values with courage and conviction.
A globally respected peacemaker, Tutu recognised that “real peace never comes from the barrel of a gun.”
He was a committed supporter of a gun free South Africa, calling for SA’s first democratic election to be gun free, supporting SA’s first national firearms amnesty on 16 December 1994 and soon thereafter becoming a patron of Gun Free South Africa after the organisation was established in 1995.
His commitment to silencing the guns was not limited to South Africa: In 2018 the Arch awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize to the Parkland students in the USA for establishing an international movement after a deadly school shooting. Presenting the award, Tutu called the March For Our Lives movement one of the most significant youth-led mass movements in living memory and its founders “true change-makers.”
Tutu’s wisdom, energy, and belief in silencing the guns for peace will live on in Gun Free South Africa as we work to create a safer, more secure country, free from the fear of gun violence.