It wasn’t me, Gift of the Givers volunteer's alleged shooter tells police
Moments before walking into Philippi Police Station on Thursday morning, the 21-year-old man had told the Daily Voice that he was innocent and had been wrongly identified by residents as the shooter.
Ameerodien, a volunteer for the Gift of the Givers, died in his father’s arms after a gang shooting in Surwood Walk on Friday night.
His death sparked widespread cries for police intervention and within days, Police Minister Bheki Cele, deployed his brand new Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) to find the killer.
The suspected killer told the Daily Voice he is a member of the Americans gang, which is believed to be responsible for the shooting in Surwood Road, but claims he was not there.
“Ek was by my pa se huis in Blinkwater (Court). Ek dra nie kennis van daai skietery. Ek is innocent en kom om myself op te gee. Hulle sê die boere soek my,” the suspect said. ("I was at my father's house in Blinkwater Court. I have no knowledge of that shooting. I am innocent and am handing myself over. They say the police are looking for me.")
A fellow Americans gang member, who asked not to be named, says more than 200 cops have been continually raiding their homes this week hunting the shooter.
“Surwood is Ghetto territory and they blame the Americans. But this is an innocent laaitie (youngster) and the boere (police) came looking for him because people living there said he is the shooter,” the gangster said.
“But he wasn’t there. We told him it’s best to give himself up and tell his side.”
He also slammed Cele, saying he did nothing when opposition gangsters killed innocent people such as Lesley John Paulse.
“Toe die Ghettos vir Uncle Les skiet toe gaan hulle nie so aan nie. Nou met Ameerodien kan hulle elke dag soek.” ("When the Ghettos shot Uncle Les the police didn't carry on like this. Now with Ameerodien they can search every day.")
Community worker Reza Lai Sai says the gangsters came to his home for help and he agreed to take the alleged killer to the station.
The suspect was handed over to acting station commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Dawood Laing, shortly before 11am.
Within minutes the station was filled with heavily armed officers of the new unit who took the suspect to a different, undisclosed police station.
Major-General André Lincoln, head of AGU, says they received a tip-off that the suspect was planning to hand himself over.
“We are grateful to whoever brought him in and now we are going to put him through the normal paces,” he says.
Laing confirmed the 21-year-old suspect is wanted on three murder cases, including Ameerodien’s, as well as four attempted murder cases, and will appear in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Ameerodiens’ family could not be reached for comment.