Girls shot as hold-up goes wrong

2011-06-25 00:00

HER hands suddenly felt warm and when she looked down, she saw blood.

At that moment, Tebogo Lesejane (10) realised she had been shot.

She and a seven-year-old girl where caught in crossfire in a shoot-out between police and cash-in-transit robbers outside the Roseneath Primary School in Parktown, Johannesburg, at about 11 am yesterday.

Tebogo was shot in both hands, while the younger child, whose name was not released yesterday, was hit in the shoulder.

Tebogo told yesterday afternoon how she saw pupils running away as they left the school for the winter holidays.

“I wondered why they were running away. Then I heard shots and felt my hands were very warm.”

Her friend, Pretty Ndlovu, took her to the school office.

Gilbert Ford, the school maintenance man who also drives the school minibus, raced the two injured girls to the Charlotte Maxeke hospital. “I was shocked. There was so much blood,” he said later.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said the shooting broke out when plainclothes police patrolling the area saw three men in a silver Volkswagen Jetta trying to rob a cash-in-transit van.

The criminals followed a cash guard from Rosebank after he picked up R100 000 from a bank and confronted him outside the school.

When the police intervened one of the gang got out of their car and pointed a weapon at them, pulling the trigger twice without the gun firing.

This led to a shoot-out during which the two girls were injured.

Ndou said it is not certain whether the children were hit by police or criminals’ bullets. One of the gangsters was also shot and all three fled.

The police later traced the injured man to the Alexandra Clinic and are searching for the other two.

Tebogo’s parents, Samuel and Damara Lesejane, were relieved their daughter was not more seriously injured.

They said she was woozy when they arrived at the hospital.

“She was screaming and was obviously in a lot of pain,” said Lesejane.

His wife added: “You don’t expect something like this when you send your child to school.”

After she was given painkillers, Tebogo felt able to speak to reporters: “I feel a lot better than this morning,” she said.

Her grandmother Mirriam Nkosi, said a bullet went right through her left hand.

She was operated on last night to remove a bullet lodged in her right hand. It was not clear if the same bullet went through both hands, breaking bones.

Her father said Tebogo likes to tell and write stories, and worried that she may struggle to write after this.

Hospital spokesperson Lungi Mvumvu said the other girl was in a stable condition in the high-care unit.

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