Johannesburg: South African football have launched a gun control campaign, seeking the surrender of illegal weapons they hope to melt into metal for the creation of a statue of their slain national team captain Senzo Meyiwa.
“We need to mop up all illegal guns and destroy them. This campaign aims to save lives so we are appealing to society to hand in all illegal guns,” said South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan as he launched the campaign on Tuesday.
The campaign has been backed with letters of support from Meyiwa’s family and that of Reeva Steenkamp, who was killed last year by her Paralympic boyfriend Oscar Pistorius.
Jordaan said he wanted government to tighten laws and to also initiate a scheme for the handing in of illegal weapons.
“We want to create a statue of Senzo from the guns as a reminder of the tragedy that these weapons have wrought on the youth of our country,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“There are laws on the books to deal with issue but they are not strictly enforced. We want to generate awareness again.”
South Africa is one of the world`s most violent countries, with police recording more than 17,000 murders last year, or 31 per 100,000 people.
Meyiwa was killed last month in a botched robbery at the home of his girlfriend. His funeral last Saturday filled the World Cup stadium in Durban in a massive outpouring of grief and anger.