2 held after boy shot at N1 garage

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By MATT MEDVEDpage_7340409

Two men were arrested early today after a five-year-old boy was shot dead in a botched hijacking at a N1 garage near Kraaifontein at the weekend.

Police spokeswoman Constable Siphokazi Mawisa said the men, aged 20 and 24, were arrested at about 3am in Kraaifontein.

Both face charges of murder and armed robbery and will appear at Kuils River Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the father of the boy, Dillon Meiring, who died after being shot at the Engen 1-Stop garage on Friday, has blasted President Thabo Mbeki and the provincial leadership for giving him the cold shoulder over his plight.

Dillon was shot in the face when three men tried to steal the family’s car.

His father, April, said he had tried to meet Mbeki while the president was holding an imbizo at a new rehabilitation clinic in Kraaifontein, but had been barred from entering the premises. He said phone calls and e-mails to Premier Ebrahim Rasool and Community Safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane were “to no avail”.

“I am just so disappointed with the administrators and people there who have been speaking about these very incidents for weeks,” said Meiring.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to get in contact and try to draw attention because of this nightmare of an incident. But I received nothing. Not even a phone call or an acknowledgement.

“They say they work for us and want our advice, but it’s like they don’t care at all.”

Mawisa said the police investigation was still ongoing.

Anyone with information can call the Kraaifontein police on 021 980 5500 or Crime Stop on 0860 010 111.

Meiring said the family had held a vigil for Dillon in Eersteriver yesterday and were hoping to arrange a funeral in Oudtshoorn, their home town, by next weekend.

“I really just want to bury my baby so my family can start trying to move on,” said a tearful Meiring.

He said police were investigating fingerprints on the car door and a bullet shell casing in the car.

The Meiring family had arrived in Cape Town at 7pm on Friday and were planning to meet a relative who would guide them to their accommodation. They were to attend a funeral on Saturday.

April Meiring, his wife Samantha and their three children Charne, 8, Dillon and Darryl, 1, waited in their vehicle in the Engen car park for the relative to arrive.

But after three men had robbed a 67-year-old man at the garage at gunpoint, they chose the Meirings’ vehicle to make their getaway and tried to pull open the passenger door.

Meiring started the engine, but the robbers fired several shots, one of which struck Dillon in the jaw.

Because they did not know the area, Meiring frantically drove for 10km in a vain attempt to find a telephone.

But, frightened by the large amount of blood Dillon was losing and not knowing where the closest hospital was, they pulled over on the N1 roadside.

Meiring tried to get help from the passing traffic, but no one stopped, and Dillon died 30 minutes after being shot.

“We were waving our arms and trying to get attention from people,” said Meiring.

“My wife even took my son into her arms to show them that he was bleeding. But no one stopped.”

It took another half an hour for a police car travelling in the opposite direction to see the family and come to their aid.

Police drove the family to a Kraaifontein hospital where Dillon was pronounced dead.

Dillon’s death came just days after Rasool introduced an action plan to strengthen an ailing Community Safety department, placing outgoing provincial director general Gilbert Lawrence in charge.

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~ by Matt Medved on July 23, 2007.

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