Cape Town - As 7-year-old Nasiegha Williams from Parkwood is fighting for her life in hospital after being shot and injured last week, residents from her community and Parkwood Primary School pupils staged a demonstration calling for an end to the shooting of children in the area.
The pupils carried placards stating “Stop the violence” and “Stop abusing us” while chanting “Enough is enough, we want to live”. They called for justice for their wounded schoolmate, who is in Grade 2.
Nasiegha was caught in gang crossfires on April 7 while she was playing inside her aunt’s house at Moosa Walk.
Two bullets hit her in the back, damaging her spine and kidneys. According to her father, she won’t be able to walk again and would need an electrical wheelchair to move around.
After the shooting, a member of the Mongrels gang, Brandon Baron, 27, was arrested and made his appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court last week.
He was charged with attempted murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Baron opted to abandon his bail application and remains in custody. The case was postponed to May 24 for further investigations.
According to the community, Baron lived almost opposite the gates of Parkwood Primary School.
Young mother Mymoena Salie said the shootings made parents fearful because they constantly had to worry about the safety of their children.
Salie said she could not even stand outside with her daughter, or play with her in the parks as the shootings occur during the day, with no care shown by the gangsters whether children may be playing outside.
“I woke up on the Friday morning with anger. My rage for justice led me to march down the road with my poster to the school and stand there seeking justice for my mom’s best friend’s child.
“It could have been my child, my brothers, or my sister, and I have just had enough of these gangsters who just want to take over our community,” she said.
Bradley Ruiters from Grassy Park, who supported the demonstration, said that although he didn’t live in Parkwood, the violence by gangsters affected him and his family as they travelled past the area.
Another supporter, Qadirah Gasant, said Nasiegha was a cheerful child and had a promising life and that the shooting snatched her dreams away from her.