Ring saves bishop’s life

Bishop Enver Fray, 55, from Tafelsig.

A Tafelsig bishop’s wedding ring had a hand in his survival after he was caught in the gun crossfire of rival gangs.

Bishop Enver Fray, 55, of Faithful Mission Church was shot in his left hand and in his stomach on Saturday May 4 in Kilimanjaro Street, minutes after returning home with his family after doing their shopping.

The bullet struck his hand, damaging his wedding ring. The family believes his wedding band, which broke from the force of the bullet, prevented him being fatally wounded.

A 29-year-old man was also shot in his left foot during the incident.

Mr Fray was unloading the groceries from the car and while fetching the second load of groceries, gun shots sounded, injuring him.

Realising that he was alone at the car, his family ran outside to see him shot. They rushed him to hospital immediately.

Daughter, Bronwin Fray-Plaa-tjies, 29, from Lentegeur, said the street was quiet before the shooting.

Mr Fray has undergone four operations to repair the damage caused to his stomach. “He is still in hospital and has recovered successfully. He is doing fine,” said Ms Fray-Plaatjies.

His wife, Sarah said in their 23 years of living in Tafelsig, they have never experienced being caught in gang crossfire.

Ms Fray started the Alpha and Omega soup kitchen in Tafelsig in 2001 out of love and care for her community and was acknowledged by the Wolfgat Sub-council (Sub-council 12) for the work she does for the underprivileged and destitute in Ward 82 (Tafelsig).

Ms Fray said the neighbourhood watch patrols in the mornings when the children walk to school. On the day of her husband’s shooting the area was quiet though.

The family said they are thankful for the prayers that went out for the bishop. Ms Fray added: “I am very thankful to the doctors and nurses who are taking care of my husband, doing all they can.”

Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum, condemned the shooting and asked that anyone who has information about the incident to help the police in their investigation. “We are requesting the community to come forward with any information,” he urged.

Ivan Williams, chairperson of the Tafelsig West Skrik Vir Niks Neighbourhood Watch, said they are doing what they can to help police.

“Why him, it is a man of God? Why did they shoot at him, this is not on,” he said.

“We want to bring Tafelsig back to where it was,” said Mr Williams.

Spokesperson for Mitchell’s Plain SAPS, Captain Ian Williams, said the shooting was related to a gang fight in the area.

He said a case of attempted murder is being investigated and no one has been arrested yet.

If you have information about this shooting, call the investigating officer, Detective Constable Angus November, on 082 777 8076.