A 13-year-old boy who dreams of becoming an international soccer player is on life support after a brick was flung against his head during Guy Fawkes mayhem this week.
Chadwin Mondo is a striker for Heinz Park FC and has been nominated for player of the year.
The Grade 6 pupil at Heinz Park Primary School had been playing in Daffodil Street on Tuesday when a man in his 30s is said to have thrown a brick against his head.
The teen had not been part of the Guy Fawkes “festivities”.
Neighbours rushed the boy to the Mitchells Plain Day Hospital. He was later transferred to Groote Schuur Hospital, where he is currently in a coma and on life support.
AVID SOCCER PLAYER: Chadwin is fighting for his life in hospital. Picture supplied
The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says that on 5 November, they received 345 phone calls, 12 of which were complaints of assault, four of stone throwing, 272 of the setting off fireworks, 35 of selling fireworks and eight of intimidation.
On Wednesday, there was not a dry eye at the young boy’s home.
His mother, Angeline Mondo, 49, had been at her work when she received a frantic phone call that her son had been wounded.
“I was at work when I was called and a neighbour rushed him to hospital. We are in shock, his soccer team is in shock,” she says.
“From what we understand, he was playing outside, he still likes to play with smaller children.
“A man in his 30s, who had a small child in his arms, threw a brick which hit Chadwin in the head and he was left unconscious.”
TEARFUL: Coach Quinton Abrahams and the Mondo family at Chadwin's home in Mitchells Plain.
Angeline says her son had big dreams which might now have been shattered by Guy Fawkes.
“He always tells me, ‘mommy, I want to play soccer overseas’, and now maybe he cannot fulfil his dreams anymore.
“The way I feel is that Guy Fawkes must not exist anymore, it must be gone and government also has a role to play.”
FLUNG: The brick that hit Chadwin's head. Picture: Jack Lestrade
Quinton Abrahams, the coach and founder of Heinz Park FC, says Chadwin is one of the players selected for player of the year: “He has been on the soccer field since he was six, helping at first to bring the water for the other players.
“We will be having our end-of-year ceremony soon and he was selected for one of our top players of the year.
“But I am a believer and we are keeping the faith that he will come out of this.”
LIFE SUPPORT: Chadwin Mondo, 13, was hit by a brick while playing in Daffodil Street. Picture supplied
On Tuesday, a video went viral on social media showing a group of laaities attacking a man in Halt Road in Elsies River, smearing him with paint and hitting him with socks filled with either sand or stones.
Smith says: “There is absolutely no justification for this macabre celebration, and the hurt, pain and anguish it causes to so many people; not to mention the drain on City and police resources to deal with the many complaints received, which detract from the many other pressing policing priorities in our city.
“I call on community leaders, schools and families to start a conversation about Guy Fawkes and the havoc it wreaks.
HURT: Troy tried to flee from the fireworks. Picture: Tracey Adams
“It is time we start wiping out this misguided tradition which is being perpetuated by a minority at the expense of the majority.
“In fact, all events involving fireworks and pyrotechnics and [we] have decided that we will intensify our educational efforts and call even louder for a ban on fireworks.
Allan Perrins, of the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa, says their staff dealt with fewer distress calls than in recent years.
However, the SPCA reported a horrific incident where a boerboel fleeing from fireworks got stuck in a security gate and suffered an open wound to the face.