CAPE TOWN – When the school bell rings at Kleinberg Primary in Ocean View tomorrow morning, the school day will start without Grade 3 pupil Aqeel Davids, whose life ended in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The circumstances around his death are as tragic as they are heartbreaking.
The Davids family had been preparing for a wedding. Aqeel’s granny Shanaaz Davids was about to be married yesterday.
But instead they had to bury nine-year-old Aqeel, caught in the crossfire of an apparent gang shooting.
On Friday night Aqeel was home with his father Sedick, 35, his uncle Ishmael, 26, and aunt Mishka Davids, 28.
An unknown man is said to have run through the family home in Nebula Way in an apparent bid to escape his attackers.
Shots rang out in the house. Aqeel was struck in the head by a bullet which pierced the kitchen door. Mishka was also grazed by a bullet. The two, along with an unknown teenager, were rushed to hospital. Aqeel was declared brain dead and put on life support.
The Davids Family then had to make a decision no family should ever have to face – to turn off the machines keeping him alive.
Speaking to the Weekend Argus, an emotional Shanaaz said she was devastated by her grandson’s brutal murder.
“I was not at home at the time this happened. My daughter called me and asked me to come home because there had been a shooting and everyone had been taken to hospital. I rushed straight there and found that my son Ishmael and daughter had been wounded and heard Aqeel was dead.
“They said by the time he arrived at the hospital he was brain dead, the front part of his head was open and his brain matter was exposed, there was no way he could have lived.
“From what my daughter said someone jumped into the yard from the back and ran into the house through the kitchen door. They tried to push the door closed when whoever was shooting shot through the kitchen door. The shooter[s] then came around the front and started shooting through the window and wounded the other people in the house. By then Aqeel was lying on the floor dying or already dead.
“We are all so devastated. It (yesterday) was supposed to be my wedding, instead we are burying my grandchild. He was not a gangster, just a nine-year-old boy who was shot inside his home, robbing him of a future.”
Aqeel’s maternal grandmother, Sumilla Jenkins, 55, is also trying to come to terms with his “senseless” death. “He left our house the Friday evening because it was his father’s turn to spend the weekend with him and when he left we had made plans to make koeksisters and I was meant to fetch him and I didn’t. I’ve beaten myself up all day for not going to get him,” she sobs.
“It’s strange because all week I have been hugging and kissing him and he would always push me away because he was such a shy child.
“Aqeel was the light in this house, he was a happy child who loved playing and had dreams of growing up and becoming a chef.
“All those dreams and possibilities are now gone because of the actions of others. And stranger still I was telling Aqeel that we would get barbed wires around our yard to prevent people jumping in when they are being chased.
“That is our reality here in Ocean View. I would lie awake at night and listen to all the gunshots and think about whose life would get lost, not once did I think it would be my grandson. I want justice for Aqeel. We are tired of burying children in Ocean View. My daughter is on the verge of a breakdown, having to switch off life support and hearing nothing could be done for him broke us.”
Police spokeswoman, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, confirmed they are investigating cases of attempted murder and murder. No arrests have been made.