Learner gunned down

2015-08-27 06:00

The mood among staff and learners of Joe Slovo Engineering High School turned sombre as news of the tragic demise of one of their own filtered through.

Wandile Picana,17, a learner at the school, was found brutally killed as he sat and watched TV at his home- a few metres from the school- when unknown gun-men pumped his young body with seven bullets, until he was dead.

Nomha Picana, his mother, said she had left him watching television alone in the house, as she went out to buy groceries in Mitchelland#039;s Plain”.

“I had instructed him to wait for me at the bus stop and when I returned he was not there, I called him and he was not picking up his phone. This was all uncharacteristic of him,” she said

When she finally arrived home, she found her son, looking asleep on the couch, but with eyes wide opened.

“I’d thought the carbon fumes of the heater had suffocated him.”

She rushed out, screaming for help, and neighbours had duly responded, said Picana.

On inspection, neighbours found two bullet cartridges in the sitting room, but there were no traces of blood. Later hospital staff discovered seven bullet holes in Wandile’s body.

A distraught Vukile Picana, Wandile’s father, said he then drove him to Site B Day Hospital where the doctors declared him dead on arrival.

“We don’t know the reasons behind this but we have been informed that the attackers were looking for his elder brother and we have given the police all the necessary information,” he said.

“A child cannot be killed at home and we appeal to all who know the circumstances of this murder to come forward,” he said.

He said of those “involved in the conspiracy” that he was co-operating and willing to help the police nab the suspects.

Family friend and neighbour Nhonhonho Mtakatya was in tears as he described the loss.

“It’s tragic, traumatic and unacceptable for a young and beautiful soul to die like this,” he said.

When City Vision visited his school on Wednesday, the sorrow was palpable and written in both the teachers and learner’s faces.

Class representative Siphelele Kinana said it was “very sad for all us to hear that Wandi had died in such circumstances”.

She has skipped school on Monday.

“I heard on Saturday night about this and on Monday I was still shivering,” Siphelele said. She described Wandile as “a funny guy with a sense of humour”.

“Wandi was full of dreams and visions about his future. He believed he would become a successful businessman one day.”

Abongile Mke said they were still going through emotions.

“It’s unbelievable. We pray that God keeps his family in good spirits during this time of hardship,” said Abongile.

Lingelethu SAPS commissioner Colonel Michael Ritz said the police were doing all in their power to bring the perpetrators to book. ““We ask the community to be our eyes and ears. They must help us

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