A young soccer player from Hanover Park has been hospitalised after he was shot in the back while playing in a tournament in Philippi on Monday.
It is alleged someone on a nearby farm fired gunshots into the air and one of the bullets struck 13-year-old Declyn Wippenaar.
The boy was rushed to hospital after the bullet lodged in his spine.
Great-grandmother, Johanna Coetzee, 72, says the Grade 8 learner from Alexander Sinton High School left his home on Easter Monday to join the friendly tournament.
Coach of the Young Jigga Stars, Victor Roberts, says Declyn was playing in the semifinals at the time of the incident when someone on a nearby farm apparently fired shots in the air.
“It was after 5pm when we heard three skote,” says Victor.
“Declyn came with someone who was carrying him and said his foot was sore and we didn't realise he was shot.
“It’s only when he said he couldn’t stand anymore that we realised something was wrong.
“We checked him out and found he was shot on the back.”
Roberts says someone in the crowd ran in the direction of the shots and found the person who had fired them.
“He then drove us to Hanover Park Day Hospital, but it was closed. We first thought he was shot skrams, but then we saw the bullet in his back.
“The guy didn't tell us why he was shooting by the farms. I told him he must take Declyn’s ouma with him and they went to Groote Schuur.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirms the incident and says: “Philippi police are investigating an attempted murder case following a shooting incident which occurred at a farm in Olieboom Road, Philippi, where a 13-year-old boy sustained a single gunshot wound to his back.
“He was taken to a medical facility for treatment. Police investigation continues surrounding the circumstances and motive for the shooting incident.”
Coetzee says Declyn’s worried family is praying for his full recovery.
“His mother is in hospital with him and the last we heard is that the bullet is lodged in his spine.
“We are praying that they can take it out and that there is no permanent damage.
“This is a child who just loves soccer and going to youth.
“He told me he wants to serve the Lord and be a soccer player one day.
“We are very worried, but we are praying for him.”
Anyone with information regarding the shooting can contact Detective Sergeant Mveleli Kedama at 021 6901517 or 073 586 2119.