Court packed for Westbury shooting case

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IOL boy shot westbury SUPPLIED Luke Tibbets, 3, died after he was wounded in a shooting in Westbury.

Johannesburg - Policemen lined one side of the Newlands Magistrate's Court which was packed to capacity on Tuesday, ahead of the appearance of a man allegedly implicated in the shooting of a Westbury toddler and another man.

Members of the public filled the benches and occupied the other aisle in the court, also known as the Sophiatown Magistrate's Court, in Johannesburg.

The rattle of keys and metal bars were heard from the holding cells next to the court as other cases were heard prior to the man's appearance.

The crowd stood patiently as the other matters were attended to.

Earlier, Gauteng premier David Makhura made a surprise visit to the police station which is next to the court.

Makhura said he visited the area where the boy Luke Tibbets, 3, was wounded in crossfire on Saturday evening.

“Locals raised issues including that of the state of policing and levels of crime,” Makhura told journalists at the police station.

He said the community complained that people arrested for various crimes were usually released “and back on the streets the next day”.

“I emphasised that they should not take matters into their own hands,” Makhura said, adding that the suspect should be denied bail.

“Our police force is competent but the community was complaining about this police station on Monday.

“We are here to fix that and deal with these issues.”

He said the only way to eradicate crime was for the community and the police to work together.

Makhura went into the station where he held a meeting with the station commander.

He said he intended to tackle areas where crime against women and children was highly problematic.

Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane was also present in the court.

The boy and a 26-year-old man who were travelling in separate cars were hit by stray bullets in the shooting on Saturday.

The man was shot in the right arm. He was treated and discharged.

The boy, however, is in a critical condition in hospital.

People who witnessed the shooting identified the man and reported him to the police.

No other arrests have been made and the cause of the shooting was unknown. - Sapa

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