Dignified send-off for murdered boy

2017-08-08 06:01
Family and friends of the murdered Ruben September (11) at his memorial service at Kensington Docks Mission last week. PHOTO: nomzamo yuku

Family and friends of the murdered Ruben September (11) at his memorial service at Kensington Docks Mission last week. PHOTO: nomzamo yuku

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Ruben September (11) from Kuku Town in Kensington became a Christian a week before he got shot.

One of the speakers at his memorial service, Jean-Marcel Alexander, who led the recent Assemblies of God school holiday programme, says September accepted God before he died.

He was talking to about 100 mourners who came to pay their last respects at Ruben’s memorial service held at Kensington Docks Mission last Wednesday. He was laid to rest at Kensington cemetery on Friday.

Alexander said the boy had suddenly changed and taken the word of God seriously. He had also taken the initiative to encourage his peers to behave well and respect the Lord.

“I was amazed by his sudden change. He even gave me compliments after one of the services a week before he got shot. I believe God had whispered into his ear that his time was up and he had to repent.

“We are saddened by his death and he will always be remembered for his sense of humour,” Alexander said.

Ruben’s body was found in a street of Kuku Town informal settlement on Thursday 27 July with a bullet wound to his head.

The reason for his killing is still unknown and his family is reportedly living in fear. The family says they are not able to comment on his death because they are afraid the killers will attack them too.

“We are scared of what may happen to us if we talk. We do not know who did this and they might want to hurt us if we are not careful about how we handle this,” says one of Ruben’s aunts.

“He was not caught in crossfire but we cannot comment any further,” adds the aunt.

Verona Jacobs, his guardian, says they are trying to be strong though it is difficult for them.

A retired pastor of Kensington Docks Mission, Elred Robertson, says he saw the boy at the church’s soup kitchen not so long ago and worried about him not being a member of the Sunday school since his family has a history at the church. He then found out the boy had accepted God at Assembles of God and was happy about that.

“I was happy to know he has a relationship with God and has accepted his word, not knowing his life would be short-lived,” says Robertson.

He adds that the violence taking place in Kensington and Factreton will never be acceptable.

According to Mogamat Nordien, chairperson of the community policing forum, more than eight people have been shot in Kensington and Factreton since gang shootings started two months ago.

Nordien says: “Five young men have fallen; three of them are members of the two rival [gangs]. Two people are still in hospital and others have recovered. Since the solidarity march only, we can confirm that there has been three fatal shootings and two injuries. However, we will not be discouraged by that. We will continue fighting for justice and calling for peace in our community.”

He says the fight over territory in Kensington and Factreton was allegedly provoked by the presence of new gang faces in these areas. According to a source, unfamiliar alleged gang members appeared in late May and their presence clashed with the release of old resident gang members from jail, who allegedly wanted to claim back their ­territory.

According to police no arrests have been made in any of the incidents. Five murder cases are under investigation.

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