The cousin of a nine-year-old boy, who was hit by a stray gang bullet in Manenberg, says promises of a steak gatsby brought a smile to the wounded child’s face.
Rizaar Ariefdien was shot on Saturday, three doors away from his house in Karen Court when gangsters suddenly opened fire near a play park.
He was hit in his right buttock and was helped by a neighbour who opened her gate and dragged him inside.
The bullet was lodged in his thigh and he was rushed to Red Cross Hospital, where doctors fought to save his life as he lost a lot of blood.
Matters worsened as Rizaar only has one kidney.
He lost the other one as a baby after it failed to fully develop.
Cousin Lorenzo Langley, 27, says he got to hospital just as doctors were assessing Rizaar.
“Doctors asked us to keep him awake. He had lost a lot of blood. I remembered how much he loved steak gatsbies and told him if he stays awake, I will buy him one as soon as he gets out and he just brightened up.”
According to Langley, doctors struggled for nearly an hour to remove the bullet as it moved around in Rizaar’s leg.
“His mother Raeesa never left his side. They struggled for more than 40 minutes, they eventually just moved it towards the hole it had made and it came out,” he says.
The Daily Voice visited Rizaar at home where he was recovering in bed, and he explains how he was shot.
“I was going to the shop to buy something quickly and felt a pain in my bum. I ran to the first house I could, but struggled to open the gate. A girl opened it from the inside and dragged me in, as more shots were fired. It was sore and I cried a little but I didn’t scream, like other people do when they get shot,” says Rizaar.
The brave boy says: “I am not afraid to go out because of this. I just don’t feel like going out now.”
Looking at his cousin, he smiles and adds: “And I am still waiting for my gatsby.”
Rizaar was a casualty of a bloody turf war between gang rivals the Hard Livings and the Clever Kids.
Police say no arrests have been made after the incident.
On Monday, about 100 members of the two gangs met on a field opposite the Little Ladies Crèche in Manenberg to make peace.
Leaders shook hands and promised to end the violence.