Two suspects arrested in Ditebogo Phalane murder case

Ditebogo Phalane
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Two suspects have been arrested in the murder of five-year-old Ditebogo Phalane in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, on Friday last week.

A bullet hit the little boy as his father was being hijacked. The little boy had run out to greet his father who was returning home.

Police have deployed a stabilisation team to the area.

The aunt of the five-year-old boy who was shot and killed during a hijacking incident in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, says she’s struggling to cope with his death.

Kgomotso Phalane says the boy was like a son to him. Junior Phalane was fatally shot and killed when a group of armed suspects hijacked his father’s bakkie as he arrived home last Friday evening.

Phalane says they want justice for the boy. She says they will always remember him as a bubbly and respectful child.

“Junior was just a happy child, who loved to play and dance to amapiano dance. We’re going to remember him as he was very talkative. He was just a normal child and he liked soccer. He was a very smart child, we were looking forward to a future lawyer because that was his wish to become a lawyer and it’s very sad because he was so close to his cousin especially my daughter even now she is not coping.”

Ditebogo Junior Phalane | ‘What were those people thinking when they saw a child and just shot him?’:

Police Minister Bheki Cele and the top brass of the SAPS have given assurances that the perpetrators of the murder of 5-year-old Phalane will soon be brought to justice.

Cele visited the Phalane family earlier today. He later held a crime prevention imbizo in the community of Jukulyn and promised to get to the bottom of rampant crime in the area, especially killings.

Ditebogo Junior Phalane | Criminals implicated will be arrested: Bheki Cele

Earlier this week, Civil society organisation, Not In My Name, said there is no political will to deal with crime, especially in townships effectively.

Not in My Name Secretary-General Themba Masango says the government has to increase visible policing as seen during the COVID-19 lockdowns to successfully fight crime.

“When we had the lockdown, we had police in every single area and people were policed to make sure that they don’t buy alcohol, and they don’t jump the street. People were closed at home. Now, we want the same type of activity, strength and action to be re-enforced, especially in township areas,” says Masango.

“In hotspots like Soshanguve, Inanda, Mamelod; places like Gugulethu, Khayelitsha in Cape Town, and the Cape Flats. They do have the resources. In Gauteng particularly, we’ve got the manpower now with ama-Panyapanya of Panyaza Lesufi [crime prevention wardens]. We should have people patrolling the streets 24/7,” adds Masango.

Ditebogo Junior Phalane | 5-year-old shot dead in hijacking in Soshanguve: Panyaza Lesufi