Cape Town - A Mongrels gang member has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for killing eight-year-old Junaid McKenzie after a stray bullet struck the Steenberg boy in the head.
Moegamat Shafiek Minnies was sentenced in the Western Cape High Court to a further 10 years in jail for the attempted murder of passer-by Leticia Jacobs, who was also shot, and five years for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Judge Ashley Binns-Ward ordered that the sentences run concurrently.
Gary Peters, 22, who was with Minnies, 25, during the June 2012 shooting, received a three-year suspended sentence and 12 months’ house arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm without a licence. He carried the firearm back to Lavender Hill after the shooting.
On November 4, Judge Binns-Ward found that the shooting was a revenge attack by members of the Mongrels gang who wanted to harm someone close to their rivals, the Junk Funky Kids (JFKs).
The court heard that Junaid’s older brother was a member of the JFKs.
Junaid was playing soccer in front of his Melody Square home in Steenberg at about 7pm when he was shot.
Judge Binns-Ward told Minnies and Peters on Wednesday they had been convicted of “grievous crimes”.
“Their commission in the context of the social evil of gangland violence is an aggravating factor. The effect of that violence on innocent individuals in poor communities on the Cape Flats has been graphically illustrated by the facts of this case.” Junaid’s family “has suffered a grievous loss... it will probably haunt them for the rest of their lives”.
Junaid’s mother, Mariam McKenzie, said she was not happy with the sentence imposed on Minnies. “He was supposed to get more for taking my child’s life... I wanted life or the death penalty.”
The judge found there had been an unreasonable delay in the case regarding the request for pre-sentence reports.
The matter could have been finalised in December but was not because there was no administrative structure between the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and the departments of social development and correctional services.
The judge ordered that the DPP and the departments “expeditiously implement measures to put in place a formal administrative protocol” for processing its request for the reports.