EFF leader Julius Malema may be in hot water after allegedly firing a rifle into the air according to various reports.
The reason you don’t do that, and if you’re firing a warning shot you aim downwards, is because what goes up must come down, and eventually there is a risk, however small, that rounds shot into the air will come down on someone’s head.
Sure, terminal velocity (Essentially the maximum speed to which a bullet is accelerated by gravity within our atmosphere) is much lower than muzzle velocity, but it is still enough for the bullet to cause someone some serious damage.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told Jacaranda FM that it wasn’t a real gun, but rather a toy, and that the sound of gunfire that could be heard as Malema ‘simulated’ pulling the trigger was actually nearby fireworks that just happened to go off at the same time.
TimesLIVE reports that they consulted with an expert and the rifle was definitely firing live rounds.
According to The Citizen BLF leader Andile Mngxitama has laid a charge against the man who handed Malema the gun.
“The irresponsible behaviour of the white gun man was calculated to cause harm to black people. The crowd which was potentially under threat was black. The intention of the white man was very clear – that harm should come to black people,” Mngxitama said.
It is difficult for me to see Mngxitama’s response to this and not think of SAO: Abridged.
I have a hard time taking this story that seriously.
Malema’s rhetoric in general has been fairly close to hate speech for a while, and he’s faced far more serious allegations than this regarding corruption in Limpopo, and yet he’s come away pretty much unscathed.
While poor gun safety is a serious, and sometimes fatal issue, Malema is a guy who stood up in Parliament and said he wasn’t calling for genocide “yet”. I don’t think this is the thing that is really going to prove to be some sort of magic bullet against him.