A mentally disabled teenager has died after being hit in the head by a stray gang bullet while asleep.
Gershwin Arendse was in the top of his bunk bed when shots rang out in Manenberg early on Tuesday morning.
One of the bullets penetrated the thin walls of his family’s Wendy house.
When he made jerking movements, his father Brian Minnaar, 44, says he thought his son was having a seizure.
“I jumped out of bed and took him by his waist and supported his head with my arm. I had not realised at the time that he had been shot in the head,” the dad explains.
“Our Wendy house was dark, so I opened the door for light so I could help him with the seizure.”
The traumatised father of six says he was shocked to see blood on his arm.
“Gershwin started vomiting blood and took his last breath. I have lived here for years and I never thought the gang violence would affect me like this.”
Neighbour Joan Williams, 44, says she woke up around 2am when she heard gunshots.
“There were about seven shots fired,”she says.
“I ran upstairs because I was scared of stray bullets. A few minutes later there was a gang war and it was just gunshots ringing.”
Joan says when the shooting stopped, she heard someone scream: “It was Gershwin’s mom, I didn’t think much of it because he is a sickly child.
“I went downstairs and saw that my wall mirror was broken and there were three bullet holes.
“I panicked and went to the backyard and found out that they shot and killed Gershwin.”
She says the shooters usually run into the gangetjies between the flats on Thames Walk.
“And I know this time they were hiding, so while the gangsters were hiding, they were still shooting,” says Joan.
“The shootout cost a young man his life.
Joan describes Gershwin as a kind young man with a lekker sense of humour.
“He would come knocking at my door like the police and when my husband scolded him, he would laugh,” Joan fondly remembers.
“He was 19 but had the mind of a 12-year-old, he matriculated last year at the Mary Harding School.”
Police spokesman Colonel André Traut says: “The 19-year-old male was shot and killed at his residence in Thames Walk in Manenberg by an unknown suspect who is yet to be arrested. The circumstances are being investigated.”
Anyone with information about the incident is kindly requested to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.
MEMORIES: Joan Williams