An Edgemead man was killed allegedly because his shooters thought he was coloured.
The suspects apparently told Aphiwe Stemela, who was shot in Gugulethu, not to use NY 35 road and the victim responded in English.
A relative who asked not to be named says: “The suspect told him not to drive on that road. Aphiwe had used that road as a shortcut.
“When the suspect told him that, Aphiwe asked why and then the unknown man took out a gun.”
The relative says Aphiwe, 25, was shot in the neck as he was reversing to turn around and managed to drive away. The suspect allegedly continued to drive after the victim and fired more shots.
A female passenger was hit in the arm.
The relative adds: “We suspect that they thought he was coloured because they asked him why he was there. Aphiwe had fair skin and didn’t know how to speak Xhosa properly.
“He was born in Gugulethu but his family moved to Edgemead and he went to school that side, so he had a twang when he spoke [Xhosa].”
The relative says it saddened them to think that coloured people are being targeted in Gugs, while they also question whether the shooters thought Aphiwe was a taxi driver.
He adds: “I’m even surprised that coloured people aren’t welcome to Gugulethu because there are many of them. We also think that they thought that he was busy with e-hailing duties, but he wasn’t doing that.”
The relative explained that Aphiwe would sometimes work as an e-hailing taxi driver when he was not in college, explaining: “He was studying at Cape College, national transport and logistics, and at the time of the shooting, he was visiting relatives in Gugulethu.
“He would not hurt a fly, he was forever smiling and laughing.”
A witness tells the Daily Voice that he was in his home when he heard gunshots and when he went outside, he saw a car on its roof in NY 28.
“We heard the gunshots and we didn’t go out until there was a big thud and when we went outside we saw the car with a young man.
“He was shot once at the corner and then when he came onto NY 28, they shot him again even though the car had already crashed.”
Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson Linda Kabeni says the incident has left them concerned and they urged police to get to the bottom of the racism allegation.
“We send our condolences to his family and are deeply shocked that it is alleged that he was killed because he is a coloured man.
“This has never happened in Gugulethu...We had Mzoli’s [restaurant], the entire universe was here and nothing happened. We condemn this strongly.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk says cops responding to a complaint found an overturned car.
He says: “It is believed that the victim was shot and lost control of his vehicle.
“He was declared dead on the scene Gugulethu police registered a murder. The motive is currently unknown and investigations continue.”