While the rest of the world celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday June 21, the father of a 3-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Hillview was attending his memorial service.
Liam Petersen was playing in his yard just before 6pm on Monday June 15 when gangsters jumped a fence and started shooting – fatally wounding him and injuring his father.
Liam’s paternal grandfather, who did not want to be named, said the family and the community are heartbroken.
“My grandson and son were inside their property when they were shot. My son is not a gangster – he works with me every day and is respectful. That’s why no one could understand why this happened,” he said.
Liam’s funeral will be held today, Wednesday June 24.
Community worker and Pastor Ivan Jones, who spoke at the memorial service, prayed for the family and spoke to the community about standing up for their rights and protecting the community from gangsters.
“I want to challenge the community. We have rights according to our Constitution and we do not concentrate on those rights. Everyone has the right to life. We as the community have been losing our loved ones and been dealing with this daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.
“It seems that it is never-ending. It just continues. If it’s not a gangster shot and killed, then it’s a child like Liam who had a right to life. All the other innocent people who have been shot and killed, they had a right to life,” he said.
Pastor Jones added that communities need to step up: “Part of the reason there is such a problem in our coloured communities is because we don’t raise our voices in line with the Constitution and if that remains like that we will never be heard. Our children who have a right to life are being buried every week because we do not stand up for our rights. Liam had a right to grow up, go to school and become whatever he wanted to be but gangsters came and killed him and no one is willing to speak up.”
He also addressed police and government for the lack of intervention and protection or patrolling in these gang-stricken areas.
Marvin Sampson from the Cape Coloured Congress said the killing of children cannot be accepted in communities across the peninsula who are being killed at the hands of gangsters.
“It’s our community and people wiping us out and we are treated like third-class citizens. We need unity and it’s time we start doing something about it. The gang violence is not even mentioned by the leaders in this country,” said Mr Sampson.
Muizenberg SAPS spokesperson, Captain Stephen Knapp, confirmed the case and said one person has been arrested for the murder and attempted murder cases.