While the 11-year-old boy was fiddling with the firearm, a shot went off fatally wounding Kwanele in his head.
An 11-year-old boy accidentally shot his 7-year-old cousin, Kwanele Zide in Libode, the Eastern Cape, South Africa with a firearm allegedly owned by his grandfather.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naid, who confirmed the incident on Monday, October 4, said the deceased and his two cousins, were playing together at their home in Siqikini location when they found a firearm under the bed on Sunday.
“While one of the children, an 11-year-old boy was fiddling with the firearm (a 9mm pistol), a shot went off fatally wounding Kwanele Zide, 7, in his head,” Naid said.
It is further alleged that the firearm belonged to his 49-year-old grandfather. The grandfather was arrested and detained on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He is expected to appear in the Libode Magistrate’s Court soon.
Naidu said police were investigating a case of murder and that the minor was not arrested.
“A case of murder was opened. The 11-year-old minor was not arrested. Ownership of the firearm is yet to be established.” she added.
Eastern Cape acting provincial police commissioner, Major-General Zithulele Moses Dladla, expressed shock at the incident.
Dladla conveyed his condolences to the family, saying he strongly condemned the negligence involving the firearm.
“Every day a loved one is brutally murdered with a firearm. It is even sadder when families have to mourn the death of children through unfortunate incidents such as this one, all because of a firearm and very often an illegal firearm that would change a family’s life forever.” he said.
He urged communities to assist the police in curbing the proliferation of illegal firearms.