Cape Town - A popular Elsies River man has died after being struck by a gang bullet while refereeing a community soccer match on Sunday.
Brandon Solomons, 37, died within minutes after the bullet hit him in the eye.
According to residents, Solomons, who was a member of the Elsies River Soccer Club, was volunteering at a community tournament on an open field when he was killed shortly after 4pm.
Pastor Johannes Weilbacht, who witnessed the shooting, says children ran for cover when suspects opened fire across the field.
“I was helping a disabled man and then they said someone collapsed on the field. I went to look and saw the blood coming out of Brandon’s mouth. I checked his pulse and after five minutes it was gone,” says the pastor.
The father of seven was fondly known as “Darky” and was known for his dedication in helping to keep children off the streets by coaching them.
His heartbroken sister, Chesline, 31, says residents came to inform them.
“We ran to him and he died within 10 minutes. We were all in shock and cried to see him go.
“We are still in shock because it happened so quickly and he was such a good guy. My mother is very heartsore,” she says.
Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut confirms the incident and says: “The circumstances surrounding the death of a 37-year-old man are being investigated after he was shot and killed [on Sunday] around 4:30pm on the soccer field in Melton Avenue, Elsies River. No one has been arrested as yet.”
Chesline says her brother had been playing soccer since he was 12 and was a construction worker.
“He grew up in Clarke's Estate and was just a happy guy who loved soccer. All he did was go to work, play soccer and spend time with his friends,” she says.
“The family and the community are very upset that he has died. He was not even a gangster.”
Weilbacht says the community is angry.
“Every day there is a shooting and the susdidn’t care about where they shot. They could have hit a child like that.
“We marched last week to the police and we need action.”