Teens among four arrested for murder and illegal firearm possession
By Thobeka Ngema 13m ago
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DURBAN – A CHILD protection organisation was shocked to learn that two teenagers had been arrested for murder and the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
The teens were among four people who were arrested during two separate incidents in Wentworth, which is notorious for gang violence and drug wars.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said Wentworth police received a report of a shooting just after midday on Wednesday on Croton Road in Wentworth. It is alleged that a 27-year-old man was shot by unknown suspects who fled in their getaway vehicle. The victim was shot in the abdomen and rushed to hospital. A case of attempted murder was opened for investigation at Wentworth SAPS.
Gwala said the docket was changed to murder after the victim died in the hospital on Thursday morning.
She said that in a joint operation, Wentworth police, Crime Intelligence, the uMlazi K9 Unit and metro police followed up on information regarding the suspects.
“Two suspects aged 19 and 23 were arrested early on Thursday morning on Woodville Road. The suspects’ vehicle was seized and impounded for further investigation. A third suspect aged 24 was arrested later that morning for murder. The suspects will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court soon,” said Gwala.
She added that in another operation, on Wednesday night, at 11.30pm a 15-year-old was arrested after he was found in possession of an illegal firearm with six rounds of ammunition.
“The suspect was arrested on Woodville Road with a firearm tucked in the front of his waist,” said Gwala.
He was expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Childline KZN acting director Adeshini Naicker said it was shocking that a teenager had been involved in the incident.
Naicker said that as a child protection agency that specialises in psychosocial therapy for children, it was evident that this type of behaviour emanated from childhood.
“Often children grow into adult offenders because of their exposure to, and grooming for, criminal activities,” said Naicker.
She said child justice and youth offender programmes played an important part in rehabilitation, and that the government needed to implement more of these types of programmes in order to reduce the number of young adults engaging in criminal activities.
According to Gun Free SA’s 2017 firearms control briefing on protecting children from armed violence, the ready availability of guns had serious consequences for children on both ends of the barrel.
A gun in the hands of a child or adolescent could easily transform a game, a moment of curiosity, an argument, or a property-related crime (e.g. a robbery) into a murder. It allowed children to become killers; and the shooting of anyone was a traumatic calamity, for the shooter as well as for the victim and family.