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Cape Town - Gang violence in Kewtown, Athlone, claimed the life of an innocent 16-year-old boy on Tuesday afternoon – he was hit in the neck by a stray bullet near his home.

Amien Dixon was a student at Stonefountain College in Athlone. He was on his way home at the time of the shooting and was climbing the stairs to the block of flats where he lived off Klapperbos Street, said Athlone Community Police Forum (CPF) chairwoman Aziza Kannemeyer.

Another man, the alleged target of the gang shooting, followed behind Dixon on the stairs. Shots rang out from the street below. Dixon was hit in the neck and the other man, aged 31, was hit in the arm and ran away.

Dixon knocked on the door of Cynthia Jones, another resident in the building. When she opened up, Dixon walked inside and collapsed on the living-room floor. He bled to death before paramedics could arrive.

His family was too traumatised to be interviewed and Jones told the Cape Argus this morning that police had asked her not to comment on the event.

The other victim of the shooting reported to Groote Schuur Hospital where he received treatment.

“The police have opened a murder and attempted murder case for investigation. No arrests have been made,” said police spokesman captain FC van Wyk.

Kannemeyer said that such shootings, gang activity and drug abuse had been on the rise in Kewtown and Bokmakierie in recent months.

“Last month, an 80-year-old grandmother was also killed by a stray bullet,” she said. “The community were shocked and came out to march against the escalating violence. But the shock is short-lived, and before long everything goes back to normal.

“Nonetheless, we are glad that the provincial police commissioner and the Department of Community Safety have taken an interest in the plight of people here,” she said.

“It is now up to the community to stop protecting family members who are gangsters – this is the rot that is at the core of our society. The community needs to wake up and take back their flats and their streets from the gangsters.”

Kannemeyer said staff shortages in the police and Metro Police are contributing to the rampant violence but added that the police could do more to ensure that minimum requirements were met. She did not elaborate on what more they could do.

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Cape Argus