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SAPS shootout claims life of 16-year-old suspect

By Buziwe Nocuze

A routine Uber journey turned into a ride to death when a group of teenagers attempted to rob a driver in Browns Farm, Philippi, in Cape Town.

It led to a shootout with South African police members that resulted in the tragic death of a 16 year old.

Eyewitnesses described the unsettling events that transpired on the streets of Browns Farm.

A group of teenagers who asked to be driven to Khayelitsha township for R300 took a dark turn when they attempted to rob their Uber driver on his arrival.

A resident, speaking on condition of anonymity due to fear of criminal retaliation, said, “There were more than five boys with one carrying a gun. The driver did well by locking all the doors, and while they were busy trying to open them, while pointing a gun at him, luckily police who were patrolling the area saw them.”

The suspects scattered as the police van approached, except for the armed suspect who refused to surrender, initiating a fatal confrontation.

“SAPS members didn’t shoot at first. They asked him to drop the gun, but he refused and started shooting at them and they returned fire. Sadly, the suspect died at the scene,” the resident said.

Lunga Xesi, a 45-year-old resident, commended the police for their response. “We cannot blame them for shooting back, they were protecting themselves from someone who was trying to kill them; criminals tend to shoot first at SAPS when caught committing a crime.”

Xesi warned Uber drivers operating in the Philippi area to be careful.

“We understand that they want to earn money, but they must check if the person requesting a drive is their regular and they must put their lives first, before money. There’s no way that a decent person would ask to pay R300 from Philippi to Khayelitsha during the day — maybe at night it would be understandable.”

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phaladi Shuping confirmed that they are actively investigating the matter.

Pictured above: Nyanga Police Station.

Image source: SAPS