A seven-year-old Eastern Cape boy has been shot and killed after he and two of his cousins found a gun under their grandfather’s bed.
Kwanele Zide and his cousins were playing in their home in Siqikini, located in Libode, when they found the 9mm pistol.
One of Zide’s cousins, an 11-year-old boy, allegedly fiddled with the firearm when it went off, fatally wounding Zide in the head.
A case of murder is being investigated but the 11-year-old has not been charged.
Police have since arrested the boy’s 49-year-old grandfather, and he is expected to appear in the Libode Magistrates Court soon.
He is facing charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Police are still uncertain about who owns the firearm.
Acting provincial police commissioner Major-General Zithulele Moses Dladla expressed his shock at the shooting, sending his condolences to the Zide family.
Dladla also condemned the grandfather’s negligence.
“It is even sadder when families have to mourn the death of children through unfortunate incidents such as this one all because of a firearm, and very often an illegal firearm, that would change a family’s life forever,” said Dladla.
He urged community members to help police in curbing the proliferation of illegal firearms.
“In so doing, we will be protecting our children and communities. Thus, people would not be left mourning because of illegal firearms being in circulation,” he said.
*This is a developing story
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney