President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered condolences over the passing of Eldorado Park teenager, Nathaniel Julies. The 16-year-old suffering from down syndrome was allegedly shot by the police and later died in hospital on Wednesday. There is a large crowd gathered outside the home of the family.
There has been outrage over his death with the family and community demanding justice.
Police watchdog IPID officials investigating the incident are also expected to visit the area on Friday.
On his official Twitter account, the President says his thoughts and prayers are with the family, and the community. He has also called on the community to refrain from violence, saying justice can only prevail if the community work with the criminal justice system to address alleged injustice or abuse.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family and neighbours of #NathanielJulius who has, as a 16-year-old, been deprived of a future and whose tragic death has given rise to anger and unrest in a community that deserves better.
— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) August 28, 2020
Eldorado Park community to hold a candlelight vigil for teenager Nathaniel Julies
Chairperson of the Eldorado Park Community Policing Forum, Dominic Rodriguez, says they are appealing to the community to hold a candlelight vigil to honour Julies’ life.
This as community members are expected to take to the streets again on Friday over the killing of the teenager.
The incident sparked unrest, resulting in continuous running battles between the police and community members after they attacked the local police station.
Three police officers have been wounded and four residents arrested.
“Yesterday, with the city council members and the local councillors, we tried to engage with them and speak to them and let them know we are dealing with it. You know, we engage with the senior management of the police station on a daily basis and for me to say that they aren’t willing to help is a lie. They have tried to resolve issues. We’ve called for people to come through with candles as opposed to rocks and shamboks. So, we hope everything pans out better than it did yesterday (Thursday).”
His stepfather, Clint Smit, says Nathaniel was standing behind a stationary truck, hiding from his friends when a police vehicle arrived. Smit says according to witnesses, one police officer shot Nathaniel once in the chest, when he couldn’t explain what he was doing there, because of his condition.
“The policeman, I don’t know … they call him Scorpion, he was getting out of the car, to go to my son and shoot him. When I came to the gate, the police van was already speeding up to that point by the stop sign. He was already in the van. They picked him up and threw him in the van … in the back of the van. When he shot my son, he was calling my friends. They came … two of them picked him up, threw him in the van and they sped off. I found my people in Bara. The people there by Bara say the police came and said he was in a gang fight.”
In the video below, members of the community speak out: