By Yolisa Tswanya and Matthew van Schalkwyk 7 April 7 2015 10:58am
Cape Town – The Easter weekend came to a bloody end for families whose loved ones were caught in suspected gang crossfire.
One of the casualties, 11-year-old Keenan Abrahams of Factreton, is in the Red Cross Children’s Hospital after being shot four times while playing in the local park with his siblings and friends on Sunday afternoon.
His mother, Sharon Harvey, said that as soon as she heard the gunshots she had a bad feeling that something had happened to her son.
“He was playing with his friends at the park and I just came back from telling them they shouldn’t play there because it is not safe. Then I heard the shots.”
“I wanted to run back but they (family) wouldn’t let me go. I didn’t care if a shot hit me, I just wanted to get to him.”
Harvey said people were screaming outside as Keenan’s cousin brought his bleeding body to their house.
“He knows the guys who shot him. There are a lot of gangs here and they fight every day. But I mean why is there a park if it is not safe for the children to play there?”
Harvey said there were too many shots to count, but four of them hit her son’s tiny frame – two in his right foot, one under his arm and another in his chest.
Keenan is recovering but a37-year-old man, who was shot in the same incident, was not so lucky.
He was declared dead on the scene, said police spokesman Colonel Thembinkosi Kinana.
The man had been on Wellesley Street in Factreton when two suspects asked him whether he knew certain people, to which he replied no. They then shot him in the chest.
No arrests had been made and a case of murder had been opened.
Just 12km away, in Manenberg, Abubaker Lewis was shot in the leg just before a scheduled march against drugs and gangsterism on Sunday.
The march was abandoned after the shooting at about 10.15am.
Abraham Agulhas, 53, interim chairman of the United Front, said outside the hospital he was disappointed that the march could not take place.
“Gangsterism and drugs are a huge problem in the area. We need to be united as members of the community and ensure that we live in a safe environment.”
He added that the incident would not discourage the organisation’s aims and principles.
Manenberg Safety Forum chairwoman Roegchanda Pascoe said it was not the end of the fight against these acts of violence. “The people in this community feel vulnerable. There needs to be justice (for) the event that took place today.”
She reiterated the severity of the situation, saying her daughter had been shot in 2013. Incidents such as these were detrimental to one’s right to feel safe, she added.
Pascoe said people in Manenberg should be monitored by a24-hour police service.