Tribute for boy killed in crossfire

Nathaniel Hendricks, 14, was on his way to the shop when a stray bullet struck him at the back of his neck, killing him.

Tafelsig High School held a memorial service for Grade 8 pupil Nathaniel Hendricks, 14, on Wednesday May 16, with many speakers honouring his life by sharing their memories about how he had impacted their lives in the short time they had known him.

Nathaniel, of East-ridge, was hit in the back of his neck by a stray bullet on Saturday Mary 5. He was rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital, but declared brain dead the following day (“Another young life cut short”, Plainsman, May 9).

“I am glad I could spend time with him. We, as teachers treat each learner the same but I had a soft spot in my heart for Nathaniel,” said Timothy Albanie, his class teacher at Tafelsig High School.

Nathaniel’s cousin, Caleb Coetzee, said he had been a generous person – even in death. Nathaniel had been an organ donor and his organs benefited children on the organ donation waiting list before he was laid to rest.

The community is still very angry about the shooting – which happened close to Nathaniel’s home – and want something to be done about crime and violence in the area.

Dean Ramjoomia, a pastor from Beacon Valley, made a call to all pastors from areas on the Cape Flats to help improve safety in their communities.

“His memory will live on, but it is not easy to say goodbye to one of our own,” said Clarence Rogers, the principal of Tafelsig High School.

The funeral was held on Saturday May 19 at Shekinah Full Gospel Church in Beacon Valley.