Cape Town - “Dit was nie ek nie (It was not me).”
These are the words one of the men accused of killing six-year-old Sadiqah Lippert said to her parents as he left court on Thursday.
The parents revealed the alleged shooters are known to them, and one of them even used to drive little Sadiqah around.
Samier Slamang, 26, and Wayland Botha, 22, appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court where only the media and the girl’s parents were allowed to attend.
Asked by Magistrate Keith le Keur why the matter was being heard “in camera”, State Prosecutor Xolani Ntozini said it was “for security reasons”.
The courtroom was cleared after someone is said to have threatened to “take out” the suspects at court.
Ntozini’s decision angered the scores of people who came to see the men accused of killing the Grade 1 learner.
People took to standing on a bench outside the room to peer in through the window.
Sadiqah died in hospital on Tuesday hours after she was shot outside her grandmother’s Bokmakierie home in Ninth Avenue on Monday night.
She was visiting for the weekend and was packing her bags into a car when she was hit in the stomach.
Her mother, Chimeiz Francis, 30, burst into tears when Slamang and Botha was led back to the cells on Thursday.
During their brief appearance, Ntozini said the two were identified by eyewitnesses.
“They handed themselves over to police. It was also indicated the incident that took place was gang and drug-related,” he added.
The matter was postponed for bail information to May 12 and the two will remain in custody.
Slamang told the sobbing mother that it was not him who shot Sadiqah.
“Dit was nie ek nie (It wasn’t me),” he said as Francis was consoled by her ex-husband, Sadiqah’s dad, Sadick Lippert.
The grieving mother said that both suspects were known to them.
“When they came up both of them looked in our faces and they showed no remorse,” she said.
“I just want to know why they did this? They know me and they know Sadiqah.
“Slamang used to drive my daughter around, she grew up in front of him.”
And she did not believe him when he said it wasn’t him.
“He’s afraid of jail, that’s why he said that. I burst into tears because they took our little princess, it’s heartbreaking,” said the young mom.
“It was very difficult to look at them.”
Lippert said he saw Slamang and Botha in the street just moments after his daughter was shot.
“I saw them running down the road but I don’t know who they shot,” Lippert said.
“I still saw the smoke coming from the gun.
“Ek ken hulle altwee en kan nie nog sleg praat van [Slamang] nie (I know them both and cannot really badmouth [Slamang] ),” he added.
Athlone community policing forum chairperson Aziza Kannemeyer said the community will be opposing bail.
“We must oppose bail so the community can be safe, it is a six-year-old’s life that was taken,” she added.Daily Voice