10-year-old Cape girl killed by gangsters 'dreamt of being a doctor'

10 December 2019 - 16:26
Ayesha Kelly, 10, was caught in crossfire between gangs in Tafelsig on Sunday. She was buried on Tuesday.
Image: Supplied Ayesha Kelly, 10, was caught in crossfire between gangs in Tafelsig on Sunday. She was buried on Tuesday.

The 10-year-old Tafelsig girl who was shot in crossfire between gangs was buried on Tuesday.

Ayesha Kelly’s mother, Inshaa Kelly, said her child had big dreams, and described her daughter's death as a big loss for the country.

According to Western Cape police, Ayesha died in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, “during random shooting between rival gangs” on Sunday night.

In the midst of her grief, Kelly, 27, said she feared for every child’s safety in South Africa. She said it was not the first time a child was shot by gangs in her neighbourhood.

Kelly said the death of her only daughter flew in the face of concerted collective efforts to root out the abuse of women and children.

“Other children survived the shooting,” said Kelly.

“I am really hurt. I am feeling a lot of pain right now. I am asking myself a lot of questions right now. She was my only daughter, such a loving and bubbly child. She was the eldest of my three children.”

Kelly said Ayesha wanted to conquer the word, and her school report was testimony to this.

“Like every child, she had dreams,” Kelly said. “She wanted to be a doctor. She was a hard worker and she put so much effort into her school work this year. She looked forward to being in grade 5 next year.”

Two men were arrested in connection with the killing on Sunday.

Police said officers from the local police station and the anti-gang unit apprehended a 21-year-old with a unlicensed firearm close to the scene, and a 26-year-old in Olifantshoek Street in Tafelsig.

“Both suspects are believed to have links with local gangs,” police said this week.

Meanwhile, a police contingent has been deployed in the area, including Mitchells Plain police, Operation Lockdown forces and the anti-gang unit, to prevent flare-ups.

“The deployment will remain in the area until calm is restored,” police said.

An eight-month-old baby was shot in Eastridge, Mitchells Plain, in August. Three men were also injured in the attack and were admitted to hospital together with the baby.

Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Mitchells Plain community policing forum, condemned the shootings.

“The two incidents are not related,” said Isaacs.

“As the CPF, we want to send our condolences to the family. We are angry as the CPF because this happened during 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children.

"Second, we want to commend the speedy arrest of the suspects. We would like to commend the anti-gang unit and members of the Mitchells Plain crime prevention unit who acted swiftly. Once the suspects have been charged we will mobilise the community to oppose bail.”