Cape children caught in gang crossfire

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gang violence INLSA Kim Kleinbooi, 25, is happy to have her daughter, Tiffany, 6, with her at home after she was caught in gang crossfire last week. Picture: David Ritchie

Three Manenberg children, aged 12 years and younger, were shot in their legs after being hit in crossfire during three separate gang shootouts in the past five days.

Six year-old Tiffany Kleinbooi was the first victim. She was shot though the thigh while playing outside with her friends on Thursday morning.

On Saturday afternoon, nine-year-old Malieka Fraser took a bullet in the right foot as gangsters exchanged fire in the vicinity of her home.

Later that night, as gang wars raged unabated, a 12-year-old boy and a 39-year-old man were wounded in their Heideveld flat, apparently victims of shots let loose in the area. Both sustained injuries to their feet before being taken to GF Jooste Hospital.

Tariq Fraser said on Sunday that her daughter Malieka was still in hospital.

“She’s in a stable condition, but I’m still waiting to speak to the doctor. The doctors removed the bullet this morning (Sunday). They said there might be a longterm complication but they have not explained yet.”

Kim Kleibooi said she was grateful that her daughter Tiffany had survived Thursday’s incident.

She explained that Tiffany had gone outside to play at around 9am and “seconds later, she was crying with blood on her pants”.

Kleinbooi said a bullet went through her daughter’s right thigh but that doctors at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital said she was going to be fine.

Kleinbooi said she was worried because her daughter, a Grade 1 pupil at Sonderend Primary School, had to walk through the area where the shooting happened on her way to school.

Saadick Heuwel, head of the Manenberg Neighbourhood Watch, said gang violence in the area had spiked over the past couple of months.

Since the beginning of Ramadan some residents had had to say their prayers at home because they were too afraid to walk in the streets. “Some of the gang members wore a fez and the long robe worn by Muslim people to hide their guns before they started shooting,” Heuwel said.

Police spokesman Andre Traut confirmed that two suspects in their twenties had been arrested on a charge of attempted murder in the incident involving Malieka Fraser. No suspects had been arrested in the other cases.

He added that the body of a 33-year-old man had been found in Manenberg with seven gunshot wounds to the head but that no one had been arrested.

Other children have died or been injured in gang related incidents this year.

- In February, Raylinn Fortuin, 16, died after being stabbed at Beauvallon High School in Valhalla Park.

- In April, Sadé Boltman, 12, died after being shot in Bonteheuwel.

- In June, Zunaid McKenzie, 8, died after being shot in Steenberg.

- In June, Kauthar Alexander, 3, was shot six times outside her home in Hanover Park - Cape Argus

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