Boy, 2, and father caught in crossfire

SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town - 08 June 2019 - The Manenberg community took to the streets and marched from the Mosque in Jordaan Street to protest violence and gangsterism in their community. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

A two-year-old boy and his father were wounded by a stray bullet in the latest gang feud in Manenberg – a conflict that has now drawn in an independent police watchdog after officers were accused of shooting two innocent men, killing one of them.

Hard Livings and Clever Kids gangsters were shooting at each other in Renoster Walk, on Wednesday morning June 19, when a bullet hit the father and son in their home, say police.

The flare-up can be traced back to a row between rival gang members the previous weekend, according to acting Manenberg station commander Colonel Sanele Eugene Zama.

The Clever Kids gangsters had opened fire on Hard Livings gangsters walking in Renoster Walk at 9am on the Wednesday, he said.

A bullet punched through a wendy house, hitting the two-year-old in his side and grazing his father’s hand.

Residents had called the police but when the officers got to the scene, no one had been willing or able to identify the shooters, said Colonel Zama.

Both the father and son were taken to hospital, but they have both since been discharged.

According to Colonel Zama, the shooting flared up again on Thursday June 20.

Officers on patrol had heard shooting in Red River Walk and seen four Hard Livings gang members firing at Clever Kids gangsters.

“The police told them to stop what they are doing, but they turned around to the police and shot at them hitting the bonnet and the right rear door of the police van,” he said.

“The police then returned fire and shot two of the gang members,” Colonel Zama said.

One of the men, aged 27, was shot in the head and died at the scene.

No guns were recovered from either of the two men who were shot, said Colonel Zama.

Officers had had to call for back-up after residents had thrown stones at them, and police had fired rubber bullets to “stabilise” the area, said Colonel Zama.

But, Manenberg Community Safety Forum chairwoman Roegshanda Pascoe claimed the two men police shot were not gangsters.

One of the men, aged 27, had been shot in his head and had died on the scene.

Colonel Zama said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate was investigating that shooting, and two of the officers involved had had their service pistols confiscated pending the outcome of the investigation.

Ms Pascoe said children on the Cape Flats couldn’t play in their own communities because of gang violence.

“It’s not fair, we are not safe. That child (the two-year-old) was in the safety of his own home, but he was shot. What measures are being put in place to protect us?

“The police are failing our people – not only our local police but on a national level.

“Also our constables put their lives at risk trying to protect us but they have also been failed. They are not trained properly and they do not have the proper resources,” she said.

In reply to Ms Pascoe’s post on Facebook about the two-year-old boy being shot, resident Shamielah Abdol said: “We need to stand up against gangsters take our streets back.”

Hayden Johnson said: “Sad to hear that another child is shot.”

Police arrested a man in Pam Street on Friday June 21 for the illegal possession of a firearm, but could not confirm whether he had been one of the shooters.

A woman was killed during a shooting in Bonteheuwel over the weekend while another is in a critical condition in hospital.

Candice Williams and Tasliema Galant were shot in Kiaat Avenue while asleep on Saturday June 22.

Ms Galant was shot thrice and was rushed to hospital. She underwent surgery and is in a critical condition.

Ms Williams died on the scene.

No arrests have been made yet.

Bishop Lavis police are investigating cases of attempted murder and murder.

In a separate incident, Sharief Cader, 34, was shot and killed in Bonteheuwel on Monday June 24.

According to Bishop Lavis spokesman, Warrant Officer Joseph Witbooi, police found Mr Cader’s body at about 2am on the corner of Medlar and Loganberry streets in Bonteheuwel with multiple shots to the head.

No arrests were made.

If you can help the police in their investigations of these shootings, call the SAPS Crime Stop number on 08600 10111.