Picture: Ichigo121212/Pixabay

Port Elizabeth - The Port Elizabeth High Court has sentenced two gang affiliates to 25 years behind bars for the murder of 2-year-old Hakeem Baartman.

Police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the two men were sentenced on Monday for the murder of Baartman and the attempted murder of a 17-year-old.

Naidu said this was the first POCA (Prevention of Organised Crime) gang conviction and sentence achieved in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Marshall Thomas was convicted on a charge of murder while Maxwell Muller was convicted on a lesser charge of accessory after the fact.

In November 2017, Baartman was walking with his uncle in Helenvale, in an area called “Die Gat”, when the shooting incident unfolded.

The toddler was killed while Dimitri Guest, 17, sustained a gunshot wound to the neck.

Muller supplied the gun to Thomas who tried to shoot and kill Guest. 

Naidu said Baartman, who had been playing in the street, was fatally struck in the head by a stray bullet during the shooting.

Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Ntshinga complimented the investigating team and the prosecution team. 

“It is our responsibility as law enforcers to protect the vulnerable in society and these responsibilities are taken seriously through thorough investigations, effective arrests  and successful prosecutions.”

African News Agency/ANA