Thursday, 29 September 2011

Crime and Courts

Three year old causes death of seven year old
A boy from the location of Kwanobuhle was shot dead by a fellow playmate while playing ‘Russian roulette’, this game ended up taking the life of seven year old, Simnikiwe Kanise on Saturday. The children had been playing at a friend’s house when they decided to take out a gun belonging to the three year old playmate’s grandfather. The grandfather had been in the bathroom at the time of the accident, while the grandmother had been asleep in the next room. The mother of the three year old had been out at the time of the shooting.

The traumatized children admitted to playing with the gun and even said that Simnkiwe had tried to shoot the gun himself but it did not go off. The three year old boy then took the gun and told them that he knew how as he had seen his grandfather fiddle with it before and fired; to their horror, the gun went off and hit Simnikiwe in the chest. Shocked by what had occurred, the child dropped the gun and ran away but was later apprehended by family members. Simnikiwe died in the arms of the three year olds grandfather while the ambulance was still on its way. The 21 year old single mother came home to find her son “shaking and crying in a corner” and was mortified to hear what had happened. 

Over 50 percent of child deaths are caused by unintentionally injury, meaning they can be avoided, provided they are strictly monitored by their parents. In this instance one might argue that this is another case of a teenage mother who cannot handle her responsibility of being a parent and just want to hang-out with her peers and a Saturday than being indoors with a clingy toddler. When teenage moms have children, they get their own mothers to look after their children while they get on with being teenagers. Some grandmothers cannot handle the level of responsibility that their daughters bring upon them, as this can lead an RDP house to have nine people living under one roof. 64 year old Ntombizanele Mahlati, says her youngest daughter, Ntombizethu 27 has three children from two different fathers and is currently unemployed. “She hardly ever sleeps at home and is currently dating another guy whom is neither of the children’s father, and whenever she gets a piece job; she hardly contributes to the house saying she does not live here.”

Uitenhage Police Communitcations Department Representative, Mariet Olivier confirmed that a murder case had been opened but that the child will not be charged because he is a minor. “All that will be required of him would be for him to go for counseling in trying to deal with what he had done” added Olivier, this is the responsibility of the boy’s mother to make sure that her son attends these sessions because it benefits him in the end. The Senior prosecutor has opened a docket to investigate whether the owner of the firearm had been guilty of negligence in the placing of his weapon as the grandchild was able to find the gun and use it without much effort in getting hold of the handgun.

The identity of the shooter has been kept secret as a means of protecting the child against the deceased family members but close relatives and neighbors are up-in-arms and have been throwing rocks and cursing at the home of the incident. A neighbor was arrested after he was found with the gun that killed Simnikiwe as police feared he might use it because the residents are upset and to get even for the deceased. A life for a life. No comments have been given by either of the families involved as this is a delicate case because minors were involved, Warrant Officer Mbombosi added that even though Simnikiwe’s death was a tragic accident, the three year old must remain protected from the media and angry because the investigation and statements made by the children corroborate that this was an accident.

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