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Man says he emptied his gun shooting at his target but didn't see Lavender Hill child

The four men accused of shooting dead seven-year-old Nathalia Pienaar in Lavender Hill, appeared in the Western Cape High Court, where the State closed its case. Picture supplied

The four men accused of shooting dead seven-year-old Nathalia Pienaar in Lavender Hill, appeared in the Western Cape High Court, where the State closed its case. Picture supplied

Published May 13, 2022

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Cape Town - The four men accused of shooting dead seven-year-old Nathalia Pienaar in Lavender Hill, appeared in the Western Cape High Court, where the State closed its case.

Waylin Andrews, 20, Enrique Williams, 22, Edwin Petersen, 20, and Cole Nel, 18, face charges of murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.

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The four pleaded not guilty after the State alleged that Williams opened fire on Ryan Kruger in Grindal Avenue, Lavender Hill, on August 24, 2019 and, as a result, killed the little girl.

The little girl had been playing nearby when Kruger came from Eltister Road and crossed Grindal Avenue – known as a hot spot for gangsterism. As he crossed the road, the accused approached him with a firearm, yelled out his name and opened fire.

Kruger was wounded during the shooting after 22 shots were fired in his direction in full view of residents and children playing outside. He managed to escape with a gunshot wound to his leg as he dodged bullets, but the little girl was killed.

Kruger has since testified that he saw Andrews and Williams approach him before he was shot. He further told the court that Andrews instructed Williams to “shoot him”.

In a statement made by Williams, which forms part of the State’s evidence, he said, “That Saturday, I stood up and told myself I’m going to shoot ... I saw Kruger coming, he saw me and I lifted the gun to shoot at him. I emptied the gun on him. I only shot at him and did not see the child with him… I won’t be able to live knowing that I caused her death.”

Further evidence by the State was a statement made by Petersen three days after the shooting.

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He said Williams had informed him of his intention to carry out the shooting; however he advised against it.

“He then took out a firearm and I asked him why does he want to shoot because he can see there were children playing,” Petersen said.

Williams, who was injured during his appearance claimed, through his lawyer, advocate Jan Buurman, that his injuries were as a result of police brutality.

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Buurman and Omar Arend, attempted to get Andrews, Petersen and Nel discharged from the offences, claiming there was insufficient evidence.

Advocate Arend told the court there was no form of common purpose between Petersen and Nel. He said the star witness only identified Andrews and Williams as participants, and even though Petersen and Nel were placed on the scene, they disassociated from the incident.

The judge refused the application. The case was postponed until May 24.

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