Updated: Apr 1, 2020
By Gideon Joubert
Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) was founded in 1995 by Bishop Peter Storey. Their initial aims were to “reduce gun-related violence” in South Africa. They were fundamental to the creation of the Firearms Control Act of 2000, which became law in mid-2004. They claim to represent the voice of the “unarmed majority” against the machinations of the so-called “gun lobby”. A major GFSA policy position is their allegation that civilians are the most important source of guns for criminals. They therefore argue for the severe curtailment and restriction of civilian firearm ownership. Although they do not explicitly state their ultimate aim of an entirely gun-free South Africa, it does not require extensive mental gymnastics to reach such a conclusion. GFSA also claim that they enjoy widespread public support. I have been unable to find any evidence in support of this assertion, and it seems GFSA infer that they are acting on behalf of people who have never canvassed for them.
QUESTION: In whose interests are GFSA acting, and why they possess the levels of influence they do? Gun Free South Africa is an enigmatic entity. They are a registered non-profit organization, and they have an extensive board of directors with varied backgrounds.
So far, so normal for an NGO. When one starts looking into their financing, and the activities of their board members, things become considerably more intriguing. GFSA, Corruption Watch, Sonke Gender Justice, and the The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) are all beneficiaries of a common charity owned by George Soros:
The Open Society Foundation of South Africa (OSF-SA). Finally, we must mention Rebecca Davis., she is a notable Daily Maverick journalist. During the last few years she has written several articles (here and there) which openly support GFSA’s initiatives, whilst simultaneously pouring scorn on the so-called “middle-aged white men of the pro-gun lobby”.
Interestingly, the Daily Maverick is also an OSF-South Africa beneficiary. The OSF-South Africa funding network The OSF-SA is a sizeable NGO, and their overall donations for the 2016 financial year totaled over R91 million.
During 2015 GFSA collaborated with Amanda.Mobi in launching a campaign calling for the South African Police Service (SAPS) to be disarmed of their R5 rifles.
They used the Marikana incident as their soapbox, and referred to the R5 as a “massacre rifle”. This obvious use of emotive language did not have the desired effect: the SAPS still use their R5 rifles. Amandla.mobi received a grant of;
R100 000 from the OSF-SA in 2016. It is interesting to note that the OSF-SA also financially backed several other actions against the South African Police Service ( SAPS) Marikana Massacre incident in 2014: R60 000 donated to David Bruce to act as an independent expert for the Farlam Commission R50 000 donated to the Institute of Development and Labour Law (UCT) for research R50 000 donated to the Society, Work and Development Institute (Wits) for public seminars R100 000 donated to Uhuru Productions for Miners Shot Down post-production support.
Moving on... the infamous “If your stolen gun was there, so were you” advertisement was developed for GFSA (allegedly pro bono) by Y&R Advertising in 2014 or 2015. This represents a significant financial commitment. It therefore serves to explain part of the sizable spike in reported donations GFSA received in the applicable financial years.
The OSF’s role in Gun Free South Africa. It is important to remember that the previous Firearms Control Act amendments came to light at the end of 2014, and the Parliamentary debates surrounding them took place in March 2015. The astronomical spike in Gun Free South Africa’s donations and grants during this exact period is impossible to ignore. That they spent markedly more on projects during 2014 (752% of what they spent during 2013!), which was during the run-up to the proposed FCA amendments, also raises eyebrows. That the OSF and its patron-in-chief, George Soros, are pushing a civilian disarmament agenda under the guise of stronger gun control legislation is hardly a secret.
Their attempts at doing so in numerous countries worldwide is highly publicized. What is evident from the above is that GFSA’s annual revenue differs extensively from year to year. Equally, the makeup of their expenditure is subject to extremely violent variances. Yet, despite the large donations they received during 2014 and 2015, GFSA’s income stream isn’t that impressive when compared with other OSF-affiliated recipients: The ISS is a billion Rand corporation, with income received in 2014 and 2015 being R145 941 942 and R127 177 552 respectively.
Likewise, Sonke Gender Justice managed to raise over R150 000 000 in donations during 2014/2015. SO What is Gun Free South Africa (GFSA)? Gun Free South Africa is the proxy of multinational corporations, NGOs and special interest groups. They also receive funding from foreign governments, as evident from the Finnish embassy’s contributions to them. Most telling of all, they are in the pocket of George Soros and his OSF; without their financial support, and that of affiliated organizations, they will effectively cease to exist.
Gun Free South Africa is certainly not the voice of the “unarmed majority”. They are not the voice of anyone except the special interest groups that fund them. And their influence on our legislative and public policy processes is a danger to our democracy.
A danger that we no longer can ignore.
WRITTEN By Gideon Joubert - Gideon is the owner and editor of Paratus. South Africa.
Published by Break The Silence About South Africa. Dated 17th June, 2019.
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