The aunt of 5-year-old Valentino Grootetjie who was gunned down in Lavender Hill over the weekend in a gang attack. Valentino (inset). Picture: Supplied/Leon Knipe/African News Agency
The aunt of 5-year-old Valentino Grootetjie who was gunned down in Lavender Hill over the weekend in a gang attack. Valentino (inset). Picture: Supplied/Leon Knipe/African News Agency

'The one gunman came back and shot Valentino in the back of his head'

By Vincent Cruywagen Time of article published Dec 23, 2019

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Cape Town - The aunt of a 5-year-old boy who was gunned down in Lavender Hill over the weekend claims the gunmen came to kill an alleged Mongrels gangster and in the process fatally wounded her nephew.

The incident happened around 3pm on Saturday. Little Valentino Grootetjie died at the scene.

According to the boy’s 27-year-old aunt, she was sitting in the yard of the home in Drury Flat in Lavender Hill with a woman whose cousin was allegedly selling drugs in the area. She said the alleged drug merchant, who is also an alleged Mongrels gang member, came to look for her.

“The three of us were sitting in the yard when Valentino and his 2-year-old brother came from the street where party packs were being handed out to the kids. Two alleged Fast Guns members saw the alleged Mongrels gang member in the yard.

“The two went out and saw the Fast Guns gangsters come running towards the yard and they ran back in. They shot at them. We all tried to run out of the yard. I wasn’t aware that Valentino and his brother were in the yard,” the aunt said.

“The shooting stopped for a second or more. Valentino and his brother ran out shouting ‘mommy, mommy!’ The one gunman came back and shot Valentino in the back of his head. More shots were fired and Valentino had pushed his younger brother to the ground. The alleged Mongrels member was shot four times before the men fled the scene.”

Valentino’s distraught father, Patrick Kotze, 34, said on Sunday that he was living in fear the attackers would return.

“I’m not a gangster and I don’t know why they killed my son. I heard that the alleged gunmen are also fathers. I want to ask them how they would feel if the roles were reversed and it was their child who was shot,” Kotze said.

Patrick Kotze and Romana Grootetjie are mourning the death of their 5-year-old son, Valentino (above). Picture: Leon Knipe /African News Agency (ANA)

Valentino’s mother, Romana Grootetjie, 33, cried uncontrollably and was comforted by family members and friends, who streamed into the house on Sunday.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said: “The anti-gang unit detectives are pursuing specific leads. It is alleged that a 22-year-old was also shot and seriously wounded and transported to the hospital.

“Deployments in the area have been intensified in an effort to restore calm and safety.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Steenberg Police or Crime Stop at 0860010111.

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