Cape Town – It was a bloody Easter for Manenberg residents as gang violence suddenly broke out on Saturday, leaving an 8-year-old boy with a shot to the head, and still recovering in hospital.
“Manenberg police are investigating an attempted murder case after an eight-year-old boy was struck by a stray bullet on Saturday April 3, at 3.10pm while playing with friends in Sonderend road, Manenberg,” police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said.
The Grade 2 Edendale Primary School pupil is still in ICU at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, his mother Nazeema said yesterday.
“He is awake but he is under heavy medication so it’s keeping him asleep. They are still going to do a scan of his head.
“They can’t tell me everything yet but I will see the social workers (today). I am still in shock. In the week it was still ceasefire and all of a sudden they started shooting.
’’They saw the children playing, it was past three in the afternoon, why did they have to shoot?,” she said.
Cloete said she was around the corner when she heard the shots.
“I then waited a while before I went home because I had to give him his antibiotic. Then as I entered the road people were saying a child was shot and then I saw him laying on this lady’s lap where he was playing.
“The saddest part is it happened where he lives, the kids play in the road everyday. He doesn’t deserve this.”
Community activist Roegshanda Pascoe said rival gang shootings had been ongoing for months.
“It happened very unexpectedly because there was a ceasefire. The shooting has been going on for months because the gangs are having internal fights and against their rivals. It is quiet now but we cannot say how long it will remain that way.”
Pascoe said it was not just Manenberg being affected by ongoing gang violence.
“The entire Cape Flats is under gang warfare and its mostly over drug turf. The sadness is, yes, police are trying, but where the state has failed with regards to safety and security is that they know who the drug merchants are. Why are they not profiling these guys and bringing them to book?’’
She said the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca) was not being used effectively.
Poca introduces measures to combat organised crime, money laundering and criminal gang activities.
“Under Poca gang leaders can be charged for the crimes of their soldiers because they give the orders. A soldier cannot get a gun without the permission of the leader, so the leader must take responsibility.”
She said a state of emergency was necessary.
“Gang violence is a state of emergency, curfews must be set, when we do searches, we must search all the entries to communities. Guns and bullets are being dropped every day in plain sight, where is it coming from?” Pascoe asked.
Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.