10 July 2022

According to a media statement released today, Sunday 10 July 2022, a one-year-old baby girl sadly became a victim and sustained some injuries after being shot by a stray bullet as she was playing at home whilst a funeral activity was being held at the cemetery in Pienaar outside Nelspruit. The incident occurred on Saturday, 09 July 2022 around 12h45 pm.

According to Colonel Donald Mdhluli, the family of the girl resides next to the cemetery in Thekwane North and on the sad day, the minor is said to have been playing outside the house.

Mdhluli said gunshot sounds were reportedly heard coming from the nearby graveyard where there was a burial and moments later the child was heard screaming and when her mother rushed outside to find out as to what was happening to her daughter, she noticed that the baby was bleeding on her lower body.

“The baby was then taken to a nearby clinic by a private vehicle and the medical staff confirmed that she had a gunshot wound on her leg however the child had to be swiftly transferred to hospital.

Police were then alerted about the incident by their counterparts from Hospital  and upon arrival, a case of attempted murder was opened with an immediate launch of manhunt for the suspect(s),” said Mdhluli.

Police at Pienaar have since made a clarion call to members of the public to come forth with information regarding people who fired shots at the said funeral by calling the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has vehemently condemned the incident more so that an innocent child had to bear the consequences of someone’s careless and unruly behaviour.

The General further lashed out on those who use firearms at burial sides, thinking that it is normal and allowed. “South Africa is governed by laws and a situation whereby firearms are misused at funerals, thereby placing the lives of innocent citizens at risk can never be allowed. Such perpetrators should be hunted down to come and account” said General.