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Boy killed, girl injured by stray bullets during Cape Town land invasion

24 August 2020 - 20:52 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Two young children were hit by stray bullets during a housing protest in Cape Town on Monday.
Two young children were hit by stray bullets during a housing protest in Cape Town on Monday.
Image: 123rf.com/krisonealphotography

Two young children were hit by stray bullets during a violent housing protest in Elsies River in Cape Town on Monday.

An eight-year-old boy was shot in the chest and killed, while a 12-year-old girl was injured during the protest, said Cape Town mayor Dan Plato.

The children were allegedly shot by a man known to the community.

Plato said law enforcement officials who attempted to calm the protests were also shot at.

“I am informed officials were acting to protect social housing units from land invasion following many desperate calls for help from the community. Further, that our officers are unharmed having taken cover as shots were fired at them from within a crowd,” he said.

Provincial minister of safety Albert Fritz condemned the incident and extended his condolences to the family and loved ones of the children.

“The destruction of public property and the endangering of lives is to be condemned in the strongest terms. Protest action which is violent and unlawful is unacceptable. I call for immediate calm and stabilisation within the affected community,” he said.    

A case of murder and attempted murder were registered for investigation. 

The minister said he had since written to national police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole to request an intelligence report be conducted on the spate of land invasions in the province and requested feedback on the allocation of additional public order police to the Western Cape. 

Fritz said the province had in the past week been plagued by attacks on ambulance services. 

“These attacks ultimately delay service delivery as EMS vehicles increasingly require police escorts and security services to attend to requests. This puts the lives of our most vulnerable people in society at further risk,” he said.

“We are not a lawless society. Anyone with information that can assist Saps in their investigation must come forward and report those who wish to undermine peace and stability of our communities.”