Only the panicked screams of his mother, a taxi driver and his gaatjie jumping in front of one of the officers saved Muzzammil Sadick from getting killed.
According to his distraught mother, Kasiefa Sadick, 34, on Monday morning she was sitting in the shade in front of her Parkwood home and Muzzammil was playing next to her with the toy gun.
“My boy is known in the community and the gaatjie was teasing him outside the house,” she says.
“Then the driver drove and Muzzammil lifted the toy gun and pointed at the gaatjie, and that’s when the two Law Enforcement officers pulled up.”
She says the officers had their guns drawn and ordered her son to drop the gun.
“They spoke to him, but he did not understand and it took a while before he finally dropped it,” she says.
“Both officers had their guns drawn. Muzzammil started running.
“The more we screamed that he was a special needs child and did not understand what was happening, the more tense it got.
“I saw how this officer, who was down on one knee, his gun tracking my son, was going to shoot and kill my child and I screamed. Everyone screamed.
“The other officer had already picked the gun up and knew it was fake.
“The officer said to me, ‘Ek het amper jou kind doodgeskiet’.”
The mom says Muzzammil, who is in matric, was recently hospitalised: “He has been home for four weeks now after glands were removed from his pelvis. The doctors at Victoria Hospital suspect he has cancer.”
Police spokesperson, Mihlali Majikela, says: “Officers attached to Grassy Park SAPS were conducting patrols in the area when they spotted a man with what they initially believed was a firearm.
“As they approached him, the man ran away and upon closer inspection, the firearm was found to be a toy gun.
“The toy gun was handed in at the station. No arrests have been made.”
The City’s executive director for Safety and Security, Richard Bosman, said his officers believed that there was an “imminent threat to the passengers in the taxi.
“The officers saw someone with what they believed was a firearm, and drew their weapons in response - as they have been trained.
“Officers are hyper vigilant, given an increase in the number of attacks on our uniformed staff recently.
“Even for officers of the law, from a distance they are unable to tell whether someone is brandishing a real weapon or not.
“We encourage parents to desist from buying toy guns for their children as it could end up with them being hurt if someone mistakes it for a real weapon.”
But Kasiefa says she plans to open a case against the officers for traumatising her son.