Cop accused of killing Soweto girl, 3, in a hit-and-run
Johannesburg - A three-year-old girl from Jabulani, Soweto, was allegedly killed by a policeman in an alleged hit-and-run incident on Saturday.
Sibahle Shongwe was struck by a navy blue Toyota Yaris, allegedly driven by a police officer, while crossing the street towards her house.
Her distraught mother, Bathobile Shongwe, said she had been visiting her daughter’s father in the next street, where Sibahle was attending a birthday party just opposite her father’s home.
“Sibahle attended a birthday party at the house opposite her father’s. She later came back showing me that her grandmother had given her R10.
“She asked if she could go to the store to buy sweets. I allowed her to go with her older sister.”
The little girl came back to show her the sweets, then went out to fetch her sister and bring her back home.
“It was 10 minutes after she left that I heard a loud bang outside and a commotion. I quickly grabbed my 10-month-old baby and ran outside. What I saw broke my heart. I saw my child lying there in a pool of blood. I could make out her shoe and a little of the dress she was wearing. She was just lying there without any movement.”
Sibahle was rushed to the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital by a neighbour, where she was pronounced dead.
“When I got to the hospital I was told to wait for the doctor, who told me my child did not make it. My daughter had lost a lot of blood and sustained many injuries. She was bleeding through her nose, mouth and her head, which was open.”
Shongwe said seeing her daughter’s lifeless body with her dress drenched in blood and mangled, would stay with her for a long time. What hurt her most was that the perpetrator did not stop to assist her child, but rather left her for dead.
”Although I know this won’t bring my child back, I want this man to be arrested for killing my child. I think the pain would’ve been slightly better had he stopped to assist my child by taking her to the hospital.”
Sibahle’s grandmother, Gladys Shongwe, said: “The death of my grandchild has deeply hurt me. I’m devastated. It is affecting my health. I don’t understand why an innocent child had to die so brutally.”
Sibahle was described as a smart child for her age. Her aunt, Fikile Shongwe, said: “My niece was supposed to be celebrating her birthday on Monday. My sister was looking to plan something special for her daughter, not her funeral.”
The accident was witnessed by a neighbour, Bhekiwe Sekoko.
“The car came into our street at a normal speed. It started speeding. As he came nearer, the child came out from the opposite house where there was a kiddies’ party. The car rammed into the child, then drove over her. I was shocked, but ran inside the house to ask that they call an ambulance.”
Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said he was aware of the case, but had no knowledge if the perpetrator was a police officer or not. I understand the child was bumped and passed away. The man was beaten up by the community and taken to hospital. A case of culpable homicide is being investigated.”