Give Us More Guns : How South Africa's Gangs Were Armed by Shaw, Mark
Jonathan Ball Publishers Sa | 24 March 2021
Paperback | 280 pages
The assassination of police investigator Charl Kinnear in Cape Town in 2020 was yet one more in a spate of murders related to the so-called 'guns to gangs' saga, in which state weapons are sold to South Africa's criminal underworld.
It began in 2007 when Colonel Christiaan Prinsloo and his cronies began selling thousands of decommissioned police weapons to gang lords. Prinsloo's motive: to fund his son's university fees. The sale of weapons to criminals, which the police service has tried to downplay, has resulted in a killing spree of unprecedented proportions. Cape Town is now one of the most violent places on earth, and in 2019 the army was called in to patrol gang-infested areas.
Give us more Guns, based on hundreds of interviews with police, experts and the gangsters themselves, tells the story of this callous crime for the first time. Mark Shaw explores how the guns get into the hands of South Africa's crime bosses and describes the bloodshed that ensues. He also uncovers accounts of rampant corruption within the police and in the state's gun-licensing system, probing the government failure that has been instrumental in arming the country's gangsters.