Updated 23 June 2014

Guns and suicide

Gun Free South Africa looks at the role of firearms in suicide.


Hangings account for (46%) of suicides in South Africa, followed by poisonings (17%) and firearms (14%). Nearly 70% of all suicide victims are aged between 15-44 years. Deaths due to suicide are highest among youth aged 15-29 years (36%) followed by adults aged 30-44 (33%). There are four male suicides for every female suicide. The major external causes of suicide among males are hanging (50%) and firearms (15%); while among females it is poisoning (38%) and hanging (30%).

  • 24% said less than five minutes.
  • Another 47% said an hour or less.


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