Child shot and killed in robbery

2017-03-22 06:04

A 10-year-old girl was shot and killed during an attempted armed robbery in Hlomendlini, Tugela last Wednesday.

Newark SAPS communications officer Malusi Ngubane said two armed suspects, posing as customers, attempted to hold up a Somalian shopkeeper in his tuckshop - a room he rents in a house belonging to the child’s family - at around 7.30pm.

“The suspects asked to buy a cigarette. When the shopkeeper handed one of the suspects the cigarette, the suspect grabbed his hand and took his cell phone before the shopkeeper could pull away. The child, who was in the house at the time, walked into the tuckshop from another room, which is when they shot her.”

Speaking to the Weekly, the area’s councillor Sipho Magwaza said the child’s family called him and asked for help to take the child to a medical facility.

“I rushed the child to the clinic in Sundumbili. A doctor arrived and paramedics attended to the child.

“Paramedics said they could not transport the child to the hospital [due to her injuries], they said they had to stabilise her first before she could be taken to the hospital.”

Magwaza said paramedics worked for four hours trying to stabilise her, but she died at the clinic.

Commenting on the circumstance of the incident, the councillor said the crime rate has escalated in the area posing a challenge to police.

He said this can be attributed to a number of factors including the fact that there is only one police station that services a large and densely populated area.

He said it is also understaffed and does not have adequate resources, such as patrol­ vehicles.

He called on the cluster SAPS to look into building a new police station in Hlomendlini.

Last year, the ANC Youth League in the area led residents on a peaceful march which ended with the handover of a memorandum of demands to the SAPS Kwa-Dukuza cluster.

The memorandum demanded that a new police station should be built closer to residents of Hlomendlini as the Newark police station is far away and it is difficult for people when they to report crimes.

Chairperson of the local ANC Youth League branch, Nie Ntuli, reiterated the call for the construction of a police station in the area.

“Hlomendlini residents have been complaining about the police station for a long time.

“The existing police station is not in close proximity to the community and at night it does not operate, the community is not safe. At least they should provide us with a mobile police station.”

Last year, a 13-year-old girl from Hlomendlini went missing and her decomposing body was found a few days later.

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