The grandfather and caregiver of nine-year-old Matome Ramodike and 11-year-old Keratilwe Ramodike is devastated after the two children were shot in the face and arm during a service delivery protest in Lenyenye, Limpopo.
According to their grandfather, Collin Ramodike, a group of children, including Matome and Keratilwe, were playing in the yard of their home near a police station not far from protestors when police came to disperse the crowd.
“Those who were involved in the strike had been burning tyres and causing chaos, he says. “The police then came in vans and crowds started running in different directions,” he adds.
“Police saw a group of children playing outside and they fired rubber bullets in the direction of the children. I don’t know why they did this because the children were out of harm’s way and they were a distance from the protest.
“They first beat them with a sjambok then used rubber bullets to shoot them in the forehead and the arm.
”Collin says their helper, who does not want to be named, was also shot in the back while running to assist the children.
Collin says the children have not been well since this incident happened, but they are back at school.
“They were rushed to the hospital and discharged on the same day, but they are struggling to concentrate at school,” he says.
“They wake up in the middle of the night crying, especially the little boy."
Collin says a case of attempted murder has been opened and they are waiting for feedback on the investigation.
Speaking to DRUM, Maake Police Station commander Colonel l Monyela confirmed that a case has been opened but said he could not provide further comment on the matter.