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Three pupils shot on their way to school. See details

Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)

The Elsies River Community Police Forum (CPF), in collaboration with religious leaders, is calling for peace and an end to hostilities in the area's ongoing gang wars.

Three teenagers, ages 15 to 17, were shot and injured on their way to school in Avonwood on Friday morning. Because of ongoing gang violence and almost daily shootings in De Range, classes at the Inspire Youth Academy had to be suspended.

"The Elsies River CPF is urging all warring parties to declare a ceasefire for the upcoming holidays," CPF spokesperson Imraahn Mukaddam said.

"Insane violence is robbing young people of their chances at a better life." Many service providers want to offer valuable courses, but crime prevents our youth from taking advantage of them," Mukaddam says.

Mukaddam stated that various leaders in Elsies River are willing to facilitate peace talks between the various groups' leaders.

"We don't want our children to be traumatized any further during the upcoming school holidays," says the mother. Children are already suffering from the economic consequences of Covid-19 and rising food prices, with many lacking adequate nutrition and going to bed hungry on a regular basis. Children are suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of the trauma of constant violence and difficult circumstances at home, according to Mukaddam.

He went on to say that the warring parties must understand that the harm they cause within communities, as well as their actions, leave deep scars – both physically and psychologically.

Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi, a police spokesperson, said they implemented a 72-hour activation plan to ensure that the perpetrators responsible for shooting the three children are apprehended.

"Avonwood police officers responded to a crime scene near Blydoorn and Hendriena court around 8.15 a.m. They discovered a 15-year-old male lying on the ground with gunshot wounds to his body when they arrived at the crime scene.

"Two 17-year-old boys were transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment using private transportation. The unidentified suspects fled the scene in an unknown direction and have not yet been apprehended. "Police in Elsies River are looking into an attempted murder case," Swartbooi said.

A 28-year-old man was arrested, according to police.


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Avonwood CPF De Range Elsies River Imraahn Mukaddam

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