House robbery: 13-year-old boy shot while mother works night shift

A 13-year-old boy was shot in the early hours of Tuesday 19 May while his mother worked the night shift at a mine. Police believe the shooting took place during a house robbery in Clarinet near Witbank. 


Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has strongly condemned the shooting and senseless killing of the boy. 

BOY WOKEN UP AMID HOUSE ROBBERY 


Information suggests that the boy was asleep when two "ruthless thugs" broke into the home and stole valuable items, not realising the boy was in the house.


Police think the boy may have been awoken by strange noises in the house and upon seeing that his life was in danger, ran into one of the rooms and locked himself inside during the house robbery. 


"Moments later, the boy screamed for help, which drew the attention of the heartless men and they then headed to the room, broke the door and suffocated him until he became unconscious," said Brigadier Leonard Hlathi. 


"One of the suspects, even had the guts to shoot at the defenceless boy as he lay there unresponsive and they took a television-set before fleeing the scene on foot," said Hlathi.


Police and the medical personnel were notified by neighbours about the house robbery. Neighbours say they heard the boy screaming as well as the sound of the gun. 


"The boy was found but unfortunately certified dead. A case of house robbery as well as murder was opened and police have since launched a manhunt for the suspects," said Hlathi.

POLICE COMMISSIONER CONDEMNS HEARTLESS INCIDENT 


Zuma has condemned the house robbery in which an "innocent boy lost his precious life prematurely in the hands of despicable criminals". 


Zuma indicated that people should stop perpetuating any form of crime as it does not pay. 


"We are really disturbed by this incident where [the] life of an innocent teenager was taken abruptly by these brainless criminals. I have already ordered for their quick arrest and will use all our arsenals to track these men who have no regard [for] human life," said Zuma.  


"These suspects can only be regarded as cowards who opted to prey on an innocent, defenceless child even though he was suffocated by them and lying down motionless. They should be urgently found, arrested so that they can face the giant might of the law," added Zuma. 


Police are urging anyone who recently bought a television-set on the streets to immediately contact them as a matter of urgency. 


"You might be watching a television which has [the] blood of the boy," said Zuma. 


Zuma has warned the community to desist from buying stolen goods and has requested the families of those wanted criminals to report to the police should they see a television of which they do not know its origin. 


"Let us squeeze the space of these barbaric criminals and squash them out from their hiding places because we cannot afford to share a space with them," added Zuma.


Police appeal to anyone who may have information regarding the suspects who fatally shot the boy during a house robbery to please contact the SAPS on 08600-10111 or information may be communicated via the SAPS MySAPSApp. All information will be treated with the strictest of confidence and callers may remain anonymous.