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Gang shootings persist despite child murders

Published Oct 4, 2021


CAPE TOWN - The grieving aunt of 10-year-old Sinawo Mani has detailed the trauma of diving on to the floor in her bedroom as gunshots went off again in the area just a day after her nephew was killed in alleged gang crossfire.

Sinawo was walking to the shop when rival gangsters allegedly opened fire in Tambo Village, Manenberg, on Friday, hitting him twice in the back.

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The Grade 4 Silverstream Primary School learner later died in hospital after one of the bullets travelled to his lung.

The child’s aunt, Ayanda Mani, said just when they thought there would be peace in the area, gunshots went off on Saturday night.

“In other communities we would hear that if someone gets killed, especially a child, there would be peace because the gangster knows that police would be much more visible than ever and to respect the family in mourning.

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“But that was not the case here, not even 24 hours passed as we cried for our child when these gangs came back at night.

“I was woken up by the gun shots just before 12am midnight and I had to get out of my bed and lay down on the floor until it was quiet.

“This is the life we are subjected to by these people. You are not even safe inside your house and it’s worse outside. Many residents have had to replace their windows,” said Mani.

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Shootings rarely happened during the day because of police visibility, she said, and urged that patrols also be beefed up at night.

“It’s always revenge shootings, these youngsters aged 14 to 18 from here go shoot that side and then those retaliate and come this side, but now innocent people are being killed.

“We have lost a sweet and kind boy who had a bright future ahead of him. His mother lost her job during the pandemic and she would usually assist at local soup kitchens to get money. She really needs help,” said Mani.

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Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said that by Sunday there were no new developments in the case and the investigation was ongoing.

Meanwhile, the Ottery parents of 4-year-old Scarlett Cottle have begun with funeral arrangements for the little girl who was shot and killed on Wednesday.

Scarlett was hit in the head and neck by stray bullets while at home. A 48-year-old man also hit in the shooting is receiving treatment at a hospital.

Three men who were brought in for questioning on Friday regarding the shooting have not yet been formally charged.

Police said it was too soon to speculate if they can be linked to the murder and attempted murder at this stage.

Scarlett’s mother, Monique Cottle, 25, said the family was still trying to come to terms with what happened.

“We have been receiving so much support, especially from our loved ones and residents. We were also made aware of the people who were brought in for questioning. It was made clear they have not been arrested as one of them is back here in the community. He knows my partner and came to inform us he was not involved in the incident.”

Scarlett’s funeral is expected to be held on Saturday.

Cape Times

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