Cape Town - A Nyanga boy was shot and wounded a day before his seventh birthday after a stone was thrown at a Somali spaza shop whose shopkeepers say they thought they were under attack.
Kwanele Mbele was shot in the back on Saturday while playing with his cousins outside his grandmother’s home in Nyanga.
Police spokesman FC van Wyk said two men had been arrested and would appear in court today on charges of attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm.
He said: “The two suspects said the boy had allegedly thrown a stone at their spaza shop and they fired shots, thinking that someone was attacking them.”
Mangaliso Mbele, Kwanele’s uncle, said he had heard the shots while unpacking goods that the family had just bought. “My other nephews called for me telling me Kwanele had been shot.
“When I got there he was already on the floor. Together with his father we rushed him to KTC day hospital in Gugulethu.”
Kwanele was transferred to Red Cross Hospital where he underwent a five-hour operation, said his mother Patricia Mbele.
“We were supposed to celebrate his birthday yesterday. He was looking forward to getting his cake and having snacks with his cousins and friends. But now my child seems so much in pain.
“I asked him what happened and he told me that some drunken guy was arguing with the Somali shopkeepers and then the drunken guy threw a stone at them.”
On Sunday the Somali spaza was closed, but the Mbele family had been contacted by the suspects’ brothers for a talk.
The suspects’ brothers told the family they feared community members might attack them if the shop reopened.
The family told the brothers the law must take its course, and they would therefore discourage community members from acting against the shopkeepers.