Five year old hit by stray bullet fired by cops

Everson Luhanga

A five year old boy just spent his first night in excruciating pain in hospital after he was shot by a stray bullet during a shootout between police and carjackers.

The incident happened yesterday around 11am on 7th Street in Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg. 

Eye witnesses say about six gunshots were fired and the boy was hit in the thigh.

And the police have refused to accept any responsibility, claiming the boy was hit by the hijacked car and not shot by them.

Gontse Mathebula had been sent to the local spaza shop by his mom, Keneilwe to buy bread.

The energetic boy nicknamed Sgonono has made this quick dash to the spaza many times before. 

Keneilwe got worried when Sgonono was taking longer to return than usual. 

The 32-year old mother said she gave her son R20 to buy bread for the family but before her son returned, she said she heard gunshots outside the yard.

Soon, Sgonono’s sister came running to her mother to tell her that her little brother had been shot by the police who were chasing a couple of car thieves in Pretoria.

One suspected thug was shot dead, another escaped on foot.

Keneilwe spoke to Scrolla.Africa from her home in Alexandra. She said when she asked police what happened, cops told her that her son was hit by the suspects’ car.

“My son is still at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital with a bullet stuck in his left leg.

“I cried in front of the police demanding an explanation of what happened, but they didn’t take me seriously.”

Sgonono had been transferred from Alex Masakane Clinic to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital by the time Keneilwe could arrive. 

He spent a night in a hospital bed, while doctors prepared scans and surgery. 

Sgonono’s uncle Terrence Mathebula was an eyewitness to the shooting. 

He said the police have wrongly claimed Sgonono got hit by the car: “We need police to answer for this. Whoever shot my nephew must account for it.”

A police statement confirmed the hijacking and shootout, but did not comment on Sgonono’s shooting.