A seven-year-old boy is in hospital with a bullet in his back after being shot during the latest gang war in Manenberg.
Toufique Johnson and his family were asleep in their home in Red River Walk when bullets hit their house just after midnight on Monday June 1. Toufique was shot in the right side of his back, according to his father Gershwen Johnson.
When Toufique’s mother went to pick him up she noticed a small hole in his back and blood on the curtain. She started to scream.
Neighbours took her and Toufique to Heideveld day hospital. From there, Toufique was transferred to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where he underwent a four-hour operation to remove the bullet.
Mr Johnson said that in the end, doctors decided not to remove it because it was in such a sensitive place.
Toufique is now in a stable condition.
Mr Johnson said one of the bullets had hit his TV, and he had found several cartridges outside. He was relieved none of his other three children, who were also in the house, was shot, but the family was still in a state of shock, he said.
“We really started to panic when he started sweating, and we tried to keep him awake. We were waiting on the ambulance, but they took too long so the neighbour took my son and wife to hospital. The bullet hit a part of his kidney and the doctors are not sure whether they should remove it.
“I haven’t eaten since then. I feel sick. My son is in hospital, and I haven’t slept since then. My daughter is traumatised; she needs help – she sleeps with him, she is very close to him.”
Mr Johnson hopes his boy will still be able to play soccer. Toufique started the sport a year ago and is a striker.
Manenberg Safety Forum chairwoman Roegchanda Pascoe said a bullet could hit you at any time in Manenberg – it didn’t matter whether you were inside our outside.
Gangsters took cover in people’s homes or on their rooftops when the shooting started and they didn’t care who got hurt in the process, she said.
“This is probably what happened in this case, and now this innocent little boy is in hospital, and his family are in shock. (Recently) so many shots rang and residents were fearing for their lives. We saw one police van, one army vehicle, and Metro police and a few hours later they were gone.
“It’s amazing how much resources there are now to make sure that people are sticking to Covid-19 rules, but not one of them has been assigned to putting an end to gang violence, which is worsening across the Cape Flats. When our people are shot, bodies lie here for hours and children are exposed to this.” Ms Pascoe said the Americans and Jesters were fighting over turf in the area, and the gangs were selling cigarettes as they brought in more money than drugs at the moment.
“The drug business has not stopped, it never did,” she said.
“Now the cigarette sales are giving them an extra boost. I have heard rumours that the Hard Livings gang will join in the fight, and if that happens people are really fearing for their lives because then things will get much worse.”
A 20-year-old woman was also shot on the same day, according to Manenberg police spokesman Captain Ian Bennett.
The woman was shot in her chest while in her flat in Madge Court, Usk Road, on. She is in hospital in a stable condition.
“No arrests have been made yet. We are urging anyone with information to come forward and assist us in these cases,” said Captain Bennett.
Anyone with information can call Manenberg police station at 021 699 9400 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.