GFSA founder Professor Emeritus Bishop Peter Storey
Peter Storey is former president of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, past president of the South African Council of Churches, and was Methodist Bishop of the Johannesburg/Soweto area for 13 years. In the 1980s he became a national leader in the church struggle against apartheid and co-led an ecumenical delegation to the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and Europe, urging intensified pressure on the apartheid regime in 1984. Committed to non-violence and reconciliation, Peter Storey was a founder of the Methodist Order of Peacemakers and Gun Free South Africa. He co-chaired the regional Peace Accord structures intervening in political violence before South Africa’s first democratic elections and was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to help select the nation’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Human rights and gender activist Pregs Govender
Pregs Govender is a writer, educator, and the author of Love and Courage, A Story of Insubordination. During SA’s transition, she managed the Women’s National Coalition campaign for equality and women’s rights in the Constitution and future SA. As an ANC MP from 1994 she chaired Parliament’s committee on women. In 2002, she resigned after registering opposition to the arms deal in the defence budget vote and chairing HIV/AIDS public hearings (breaking the silence of the ANC Caucus on treatment). In 2009 Parliament unanimously elected her to the South African Human Rights Commission which she served as Deputy Chair until 2015.
RIP GFSA Patron Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
“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.
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There is no evidence anywhere in the world that having a gun for self defence make people safer. In fact, the vast majority of illegal guns are stolen from armed civilians in SA.
As the world talks disarmament at the start of UN Disarmament week, South Africans are doing the same