In the wake of the tragic death of Chad Basson,19, who died shielding his friends from gunfire, his mother has made an impassioned plea to the parents of Mitchell’s Plain to “come out from behind our glass windows” and do something about the crime in the community.
Both Chad’s parents, Cornelius and Dawn Basson, are avid community workers, having been active in the Mitchell’s Plain Community Forum, as well as the Ward 76 (Lentegeur) ward committee. Mr Basson is also a member of the Mitchell’s Plain People’s Forum.
Chad was at a friend’s 21st birthday party in Lentegeur when he was shot early on Saturday morning July 28.
Police said the shooting took place in Marigold Street at 5.15am and that Chad, who had been shot multiple times in the head, died on the scene.
Two other victims, aged 20 and 24, who did not want their names published in the paper, sustained gunshot wounds to the right upper leg and the upper left leg, respectively.
They were taken to hospital for medical treatment. Police recovered cartridges and a projectile on the scene.
It is believed that the shooters had pulled up in a white VW Golf with an unknown registration number, and started shooting at the victims.
“Chad and his friends were sitting in the yard when a VW Golf pulled up at the gate,” said Mr Basson.
“The guy asked the group if they were gangsters. They said no and the car left.”
But, said Mr Basson, the car returned and its occupants started shooting at the group.
Chad tried desperately to save his friends, but in doing so, got shot.
The gunmen then drove off.
“We heard the shots going off from afar. All of a sudden we heard this loud screaming and banging at our door, which was very terrifying to hear.
“My wife walked with his friends to where the deceased Chad was lying under a blanket. His mother is in a state of shock,” said Mr Basson.
Despite the tragedy of the situation, said Chad’s mom, people often associate such incidents – and their victims – with gangsterism, and she has had to face questions about whether Chad was a gang member.
“My sister’s colleague greeted her with condolences for Chad’s death followed by the question ‘was he a gangster?’ There is a stigma attached to a child dying in a community such as this.
“If he was shot by gangsters then there must be a reason he was shot in the first place,” she said.
His parents told the Plainsman their son did not belong to a gang and that he had been a loving, selfless person who always put others before himself.
Chad was also Manchester United fan who dreamed of being a soccer coach. Recalling the night of his death, Ms Basson said: “I took of his blood, smeared it onto my white hoodie to take to court and show them what had come of my son’s death. I sat with him before I said goodbye.
“Somehow this needs to stop, the shooting and killing.
“Parents, we should take responsibility for our children, find out what is going on their lives. You constantly have to be informed as to what they are interested in in their lives. We should come out from behind our glass windows and do something about this pressing issue that is affecting our community. He did not deserve to die, my son was innocent, he did not deserve it,” she said.
The motive for the attack is unknown and no arrests have been made. Police are investigating cases of murder and attempted murder.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the investigating officer, Detective Constable Ricardo Louw of Lentegeur Serious and Violent Crimes Unit at 082 411 2382.