Father accidentally shoots baby daughter to death

2014-04-23 00:00

CAPE TOWN — One-year-old Shafiekah Esau was accidentally shot by her father after her mother’s pleas that he should get rid of his pistol.

The dead child’s uncle, Pieter Hoffman, said her father, Omar Cupido, (42) lived with his family in a tiny, 4m² Wendy hut on his mother’s property.

Cupido was allegedly braaiing when an unknown person whistled at the gate at about 10 pm. Before checking on the noise, Cupido fetched a pistol from behind the bed where Shafiekah and her brother (seven) were asleep, and a shot went off.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said Shafiekah was hit in the head.

She was rushed to the local hospital and later transferred to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, where she died of her wound. Her brother was unharmed.

Hoffman said Shafiekah’s mother, Mercia Esau, had on Wednesday pleaded with Cupido to get rid of the pistol.

Cupido yesterday appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder as well as unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The police has confiscated the pistol, of which the serial number has allegedly been filed off.

Armien Richards (61), who employed Cupido on an ad hoc basis to do plastering, said Cupido was a good worker and a loving father but “had a problem with drugs”.

Cupido is being held in Pollsmoor prison.

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