‘Playing’ gunman to stay with guardian

2009-11-25 00:00

A 14-YEAR-OLD, who allegedly shot and wounded his friend while “playing” with a gun earlier this month, was yesterday released into the custody of his guardian by Pietermaritzburg magistrate Divesh Mootheram.

The boy cannot be named because he is a juvenile.

The teen was in custody while police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and establishing whether there was an alternative residential address at which the accused could live pending the finalisation of the trial. This was confirmed yesterday.

State prosecutor Ricky van Wyk told Mootheram that the family of the injured teenager, Nduduzo Sikhonyana (14), were allegedly opposed to the accused being released on bail.

However, there was no other reason to keep the youth in custody any longer, especially as he now has a place to stay and does not need to return to Willowfountain where the incident happened.

Mootheram made it a condition of the teenager’s release that he keep away from Willowfountain “for his own good”, and warned him not to communicate with or interfere with the injured boy or any state witnesses.

The case was postponed to December 15.

Van Wyk told the court that, according to the victim’s statement to police, it seemed the shooting happened while the teen was “playing” with the firearm.

He said it was alleged that the accused pulled out the firearm and removed the magazine before cocking the gun and pointing it at the complainant.

“The complainant states that he was scared and stood up. The next minute a shot went off.”

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