Mom in shock as son (15) is shot at Diepsloot home
Attack one of many which sparked uprising
The mother of a 15-year-old boy who was shot during a robbery at the crime-ridden Diepsloot township, northern Johannesburg, has told of how she tried in vain to block the door to prevent the robbers from coming into their home.
Patricia Makgatho said she was hit with a chisel in the head and when she fell to the ground the attackers kicked her. Shortly before she collapsed, she heard a gunshot go off.
The bullet hit her son Katlego in the abdomen. The teen is fighting for his life in the intensive care unit at the Tembisa Hospital.
"Why did they shoot him? He's only 15 years old," said the boy's mother. They reside at Diepsloot Ext 1.
Katlego's shooting came just four days after former chairperson of the local community policing forum John Makola was shot when he went to help a shop owner who was being robbed on Monday last week.
Makola died in hospital on Sunday, sparking yet another protest over the high crime rate in Diepsloot.
"We were already in bed with my son when I heard footsteps on the roof and shortly after that, I heard banging on the door. I started screaming for help and woke my son up. I went to the kitchen and started screaming for my other son Thabo, who lives a few houses away, to come help us," said Makgatho, who was speaking to Sowetan from her sister's house in Riversands, Johannesburg.
"They were using a chisel to open the burglar gate. I tried to push the door closed but they overpowered me. They pushed in and one of them started hitting my head with the chisel.
"I fell on the floor and one of them started kicking me. I then heard a gunshot and passed out. They took our clothes, cellphones, groceries and my son's school bag," said Makgatho.
Katlego's aunt Gladys said her sister has not seen her son, who is not in good condition, since his admission to hospital.
"She is deeply disturbed by the incident and will need counselling to overcome the trauma she is going through," Gladys said.
"They are very close and Katlego took care of her. He cooked for her and did a lot for her. He is a good boy. Katlego is not in a good condition and we are just praying to God to heal him."
Makgatho's husband Daniel Makukwane, who works as a security guard, said he was at work when he received a call from a neighbour telling him his son had been shot.
"I couldn't believe my ears... it took me about 10 minutes to gather my thoughts. I received the call around 2am. My manager drove me to the clinic. I found my wife there and my son had already been taken to Tembisa Hospital."
Makukwane said this was the first time the family had experienced crime.
"Our neighbour was shot and killed down our street earlier this year. Crime happens everyday in Diepsloot but when I left my family to go to work, I did not expect this to happen to them.
"My wife has vowed not to go back to Diepsloot again. Once she is healed, she says she is going back home to Bochum [in Limpopo]," he said.
The Diepsloot Community Forum and church leaders from the township went to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday to seek the intervention of the highest office in the land.
The deputy director-general in the Presidency, Matsietsi Mekoa, received the delegation and discussions about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Diepsloot were held.
Loyiso Toyiya, the chairperson of the forum, told Sowetan that before Ramaphosa’s visit, at least four ministers will also come to address the community.
Among the expected ministers will be police minister Bheki Cele, home affairs minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, and justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola.
Toyiya said they expected the government to give them time frames of the visits by Monday, failing which there will be another protest.
The forum is expected to hold a meeting with residents on Friday to give the community feedback regarding the meeting at the Union Buildings.
Police statistics show that at least 20 people were killed in Diepsloot between January and March, making it one of the most dangerous places to live in Gauteng.
On Tuesday, police confirmed that six people have been murdered in the township since the beginning of this month.
Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said the case is related to an attempted murder and house robbery. "Six suspects have been arrested and appeared before court. They are remanded in custody until June 26 for formal bail application," said Nevhuhulwi.
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