Man killed in retaliation shooting

Fredrika Thomas from New Woodlands holds up her phone showing the last message from her son Corneluis Nellie William, 35, saying Love you, sent before he was shot dead.

Lentegeur Community Police Forum (CPF) has confirmed that the recent shooting of a New Woodlands man on New Year’s Day was part of a gang war.

Hours after Corneluis “Nellie” William Thomas, 35, was shot dead and two other men, among them Mr Thomas’ younger brother, were injured on Wednesday January 1 after 4am in Nita Spilhaus Crescent, the alleged shooter was arrested.

He appeared in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Friday January 3 and faces a charge of murder and two charges of attempted murder.

Byron de Villiers, chairman of the CPF, said they did not condone any killing.

“We hope the justice system does not fail the community by placing the suspect back in the community,” said Mr De Villiers.

A new gang has sprung up in the area in the past few months and a reliable source has confirmed to the Plainsman that the hit on the Thomas brothers was in retaliation for a shooting in December last year.

Nellie’s younger brother Theodore Thomas, 32, is in a critical condition in hospital.

Another man was also shot but his identity cannot be revealed.

The hit was meant for their eldest brother, who had been part of a gang and had been in jail several times before.

Fredrika Thomas, whose husband has lung cancer, said their son died because they wanted to kill his older sibling.

Two hours before he was shot dead, Ms Thomas received a text message from Nellie, saying: “Love you”. “He said ‘2020 is my year’,” she said. Ms Thomas said Nellie has started to turn his life around and would have started rehab for his drug problem this year.

Last year Nellie dressed up as Father Christmas and distributed toys and party packs to the children in the area.

He also helped Muslim motorists and passengers break their fast on Jakes Gerwel Drive, during Ramadaan, last year (“Doing good deeds during Ramadaan”, Plainsman May 22, 2019).

Ms Thomas said her sons were on drugs but were not allowed to be gangsters in her house.

“You watch these things on the news, on television, you don’t expect it to happen to you,” she said.

The gunshots went off at 4.20am, after which Ms Thomas waited a bit to listen if there would be more. Then she heard Theodore say: “Ons is dood hier”. Nellie * ê hier en hy beweeg nie,” she recalled.

She saw all the bleeding and went to get a T-shirt to help apply pressure to Nellie’s wound.

Ms Thomas said if her children are suspected of wrongdoing such as stealing, people should report it to the police. “I can’t take my food money to pay for something they took,” she said.

“I give them love. When they are small they are the most beautiful to look after. I always talk to them,” she said.

She encouraged parents to speak out against the wrongdoings of their children.

“I believe God has a better plan for him (Nellie). Yes, this was cruel, the way he died,” she said.