Girl, 13, killed for phones

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girl killed for cellphone INLSA Nicky Schimansky recalls the shooting of her neighbours in Muldersdrift. Alyssa Botha, 13, was killed and her older sister and father were wounded in the armed robbery. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - An empty wallet and two cellphones – this is what a 13-year-old girl was shot and killed for when armed robbers attacked her family at their Muldersdrift plot.

Three armed men are alleged to have shot Alyssa Botha in the abdomen, her sister Megan, 17, in both legs and their father Anton, 51, in the abdomen on Wednesday evening in front of their house as the teenagers’ mother watched from the door, screaming.

Both girls are said to be very sporty, and it is believed that at the time of the attack, Botha was arriving home from picking them up from their sports practice.

Alyssa died on the scene.

On Thursday, none of Alyssa’s family was willing to speak to the media. Her distraught mother said she had no comment to make, while her grandparents – who also stay on the plot – said it was too early to say anything.

“It’s still raw; she was a special child,” they said.

Nicky Schimansky, a neighbour, was one of the first people to arrive on the scene immediately after the shooting.

Schimansky said people in the neighbourhood have private radios with which they all communicate. At around 6.45pm, she said, Alyssa’s mother was heard screaming on the radio.

“Help me, Anton and the kids have been shot,” Schimansky recalled her saying.

When she and her teenage daughter arrived on the scene, Alyssa was still alive.

“She kept saying her tummy was sore,” Schimansky said.

Police and paramedics were called.

“The paramedics worked on Alyssa for about two hours but they later declared her dead at the scene,” Schimansky said.

Botha and Megan were taken to hospital.

The Botha plot consists of three houses. The other two are for her grandparents and aunt and uncle. According to Schimansky, the robbers must have known Botha’s routine because they went straight to his house and waited for him there.

Just before getting home, Botha is alleged to have communicated with his wife, asking her to open the door for them. She did, and waited at the door. When the car stopped and the girls unloaded their bags from the boot, the robbers are alleged to have struck and started shooting.

“It means they were there waiting. They could see that the mother was alone in the house but they ignored her and went for Botha and the two girls. Who shoots a child? What kind of a threat did the children possess?” a shocked Schimansky asked.

Warrant Officer Hitler Ngwenya of the Muldersdrift police said a case of murder and attempted murder had been opened. No arrests had been made, he said.

A resident on Clinic Road said they felt as if they were under siege. The woman, who did not want to be named, said that in the past four months there had been a number of incidents of shooting, theft and arson.

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