The mother of slain Eldorado Park teenager Nathaniel Julies, Bridget Harris, says the cherished memories of her son are something his killers can never take away from her. She was speaking at his funeral service at the Mount Carmel Ministries International south of Johannesburg.
The 16-year-old who had Down Syndrome was shot dead, allegedly by police on Wednesday last week. His killing has sparked unrest in the community with residents calling for justice.
Three suspects, including Sergeant Scorpion Simon Ndyalvane and Constable Caylene Whiteboy, have been arrested in connection with the Julies’ murder. IPID has confirmed that all three are members of the Eldorado Park SAPS.
Nathaniel’s mother said she would miss dancing and laughing with her son.
“A wonderful boy, Nathaniel for 16 years, He has borrowed me him for 16 years and that’s one thing Scorpion (referring to one of the police officers arrested in connection with the killing) can never take away from me. He has engraved wonderful memories in our hearts, Scorpion might have taken him away but we will always have these memories.”
Living in fear
Meanwhile, young people of Eldorado Park say they are now living in fear of being killed by the police.
Nathaniel’s peers say the police have become the enemy of the community and they are now scared of them. They have come out in their numbers to pay their last respects to Julies. They say they expect the police to protect them.
Earlier, there was a commotion at the church where his funeral service has been held when a large group of residents wanted to enter the venue. However, this could not materialize with members of the family requesting them to respect the teenager and observe the COVID-19 protocols.
Only family members and close relatives were allowed inside the service venue in line with the regulations. A large police contingent has been deployed in the area to keep an eye on the funeral proceedings.
In the video below, Nathaniel Julius’ funeral is under way:
– Additional reporting by Ditaba Tsotetsi