Justice sought for murdered Beacon Valley teen

Beacon Valley neighbours of a teenager, who was shot dead metres from his home, want justice to be served.

Riedewaan Boltman, 15, was killed on his way home from the shop at about 8pm on Sunday May 23.

Riedewaan Boltman, 15, was shot dead metres from his Beacon Valley home.

Mitchell’s Plain police station spokesman, Sergeant Zandi Langa, said the teen was shot multiple times and declared dead on the scene, at the corner of Bicycle and Rolbal streets.

“At this stage police are still investigating and no arrests have been made,” she said.

Riedewaan was buried according to Islamic burial rites yesterday, Tuesday May 25.

Warda Majiet, chairwoman of Beacon Valley Block A, said they were “dik” of all the murders.

“We all have kids. Why must we run every time and trip with them to stay in the house? I mean it is a free country.

“Where is Riedewaan today. He was robbed of his life and it is not right,” she said.

Ms Majiet said something should be done to stop this problem. She asked: “How many more children must we lose?”

She said the street committee felt the family’s pain and sadness; and were sorry for their loss.

Riedewaan’s father Ebrahim Boltman could not find the words to explain the pain brought about by the death of his son.

He said Riedewaan was a normal teenager, who did what “normal children do.”

“My son was shot because of mistaken identity,” he said.

Mr Boltman said his son was not a gangster.

He was with Riedewaan when he breathed his last.

His class teacher Cheryl Hendricks said the Grade 10 pupil at Oval North High School in Beacon Valley was an above average academic. She visited his home, where she met with Riedewaan’s family, among them his younger sister and pregnant stepmother.

“His stepmother said that he would not get to meet his new sibling,” Ms Hendricks said.

Riedewaan would have celebrated his 16th birthday next month – on June 22.

She said his death was not just felt by his classmates but also the school because of the type of person he was.

“He was always neat and took care of his appearance. Similarly he was neat in his work and presented his best school work,” she said.

Ms Hendricks said he always greeted the teachers no matter how many times he saw them during the day.

“He was always smiling and ready to make you smile. He would often enquire about people’s well-being,” she said.

Ms Hendricks said while the Grade 10 class was only due at school yesterday, Tuesday, because of Covid-19 protocols, on Monday May 24 in their WhatsApp chat group, Riedewaan’s fellow pupils lamented his loss.

She said it was rather sad that children have come to regard the shootings as normal. “Gunshots are part of everyday life and conversation. It is background noise,” she said.

Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum chairman, Norman Jantjes, said they were disturbed and horrified by the ongoing violence and murders in the area.

“We’ve lost another four young men over the past two weeks, allegedly mostly gang-related, the latest being the 15-year-old teenager from Beacon Valley,” he said.

Mr Jantjes expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.

“It’s a totally unacceptable situation where human lives mean nothing,” he said.

He said communities were living in fear – not knowing where or when the next shooting incident was going to happen or who would be the next victim.

“We as the Mitchell’s Plain CPF firmly believe that we need more police officers and vans so that we can have more visible policing.

“We need more social crime prevention programmes so that we can divert young people away from gangsterism and drugs,” he said.

Mr Jantjes said the Chrysalis Academy could only accommodate a few young people a year and that additional facilities and programmes were needed for the thousands of youth in the community.

He explained that school dropout levels were high, which is evident by all the young people standing around during school hours.

Mr Jantjes said their memorandum given on Sunday March 14, to the City of Cape Town, the provincial government and provincial SAPS, also highlighted the need for an integrated gang intervention programme, which should specifically address gangsterism (“Call for an end to the violence”, Plainsman, March 17).

“We’ve also highlighted the need for a round table with the government to address the issue. Unfortunately it appears that they’re not really interested,” he said (“Call for premier’s response”, Plainsman, May 13).

Mr Janjtes said they also urged community members to join their local neighbourhood watch, to increase the level of safety in the area.

“Parents should spend more time with their children, know their whereabouts and get to know their friends,” he said.

Mr Jantjes said it was better to identify challenges and address those or seek appropriate intervention and support.

“This will assist them to make informed decisions which should make it more difficult to be recruited into gangs or get involved with drugs,” he said.