13-year-old girl killed in freak pellet gun accident


Parents from Polokwane have been left devastated after the death of their beautiful blonde daughter in a freak shooting accident.

Zonika Scheepers (13) died after a bullet from a pellet gun ricocheted and hit her in the face.

News24 reports the bullet went up her nose and and into her brain.

According to community newspaper The Polokwane Observer, the Scheepers family were visiting a family friend's farm when the accident occurred last weekend.

Zonika, her brother Petrus (16), and cousin, Francois Muller (23), went out into a nearby field when the gun went off accidentally.

Zonika's was a Grade 7 learner at Die Plaasskool, an independent school in Polokwane. PHOTO: Facebook Zonika's was a Grade 7 learner at Die Plaasskool, an independent school in Polokwane. PHOTO: Facebook

It's not yet clear exactly what happened, but her brother and Francois were badly traumatised after the incident.

After the shooting her parents Bert and Cindy rushed her to the Medi Clinic Limpopo, where she had a brain scan.

"The doctor told us that there was massive bleeding on her brain and she must immediately be transferred to Netcare Unitas Hospital in Pretoria," her parents told the community newspaper.

But the teenager was declared brain dead on her arrival.

Her parents then made the gut-wrenching decision to switch off the machines and say goodbye to their radiant girl forever.

Zonika and her mother, Cindy. PHOTO: Facebook Zonika and her mother, Cindy. PHOTO: Facebook

"We are broken and no answers, but it gave as a measure of comfort to donate her organs to give others hope and life. This will take place in other can survive," they told the Observer.

YOU contacted Zonika's father Bert, but he was too traumatised to comment.

On her mother Cindy's Facebook page, messages of condolence have poured in for the devastated family.

Zonika, who was a Grade 7 learner at Die Plaasskool, an independent school in Polokwane, will be laid to rest on Monday in Pretoria North.

Safety precautions: Your child and pellet guns

Pellet guns are now no longer a cheap toy to entertain children, says arms expert John Welch of the South African Rifle Association.

"Pellet Guns are now sophisticated and cost up to R30 000," he said. He believes children should not be allowed to use them.

In spite of this, the guns are readily available at hobby stores and even flea markets.

"Child Protection Act states that you should never allow children access to things that might endanger them. Guns are not toys."

"Although there are no laws regarding children and these guns, the principles of ownership and management of any potentially dangerous weapons should apply here."

Additional sources: News24, Polokwane Observer, Netwerk24

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