Samora Machel informal settlement is in Philippi, Cape Town. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
Samora Machel informal settlement is in Philippi, Cape Town. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

I saw a man get shot today

By Lance Witten Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

Share this article:

I saw a man get shot today.

It was before lunchtime and we were driving along the R300 link from Jakes Gerwel, past Samora Machel. There, along the road, outside the concrete palisade fence, a group of young men were chasing another young man carrying a backpack. I saw the gun.

I saw the muzzle flash. I heard the loud crack of gunfire inside the car, over the music.

I saw a man get shot today.

He flailed his arms, and ran on. Crack. Another shot, and he ran through a gap in the concrete fence and disappeared into the mass of informal structures. The group with the guns followed. More shots rang out.

I saw a man get shot today.

Among us were other motorists, driving on. None stopped. I certainly wasn't going to. I was in shock. Did I just see a man get shot? Before lunchtime on a public holiday Monday? Easter Monday?? Yes.

I saw a man get shot today.

Not all the shots hit him. Some may have hit surrounding shacks. Some may have hit children. Some shots may have killed children. I saw a man get shot today. And what did I do?

I drove on. Perplexed. A little shocked. A little shaken. But I drove on. Drove on past a security vehicle along the road, overtook a traffic officer and a metro cop, overtook a police van. I didn't even stop to think about hailing them down and telling them what happened.

I drove on. After I saw a man get shot today. I went on with my life. A life the victim may not be able to enjoy. I had lunch in Klein Joostenberg. I went about my day. But, I saw a man get shot today. How many lives were broken irreparably by what I witnessed this morning?

And here I am, safe in the confines of my bricks and mortar home, a roof over my head and food in my belly. A loving family who support me.

And we saw a man get shot today.

Share this article: