Galiema Kenny broke down as she recalled her son’s last words to her after he was shot by gangsters in Manenberg. Kenny laid her 17-year-old son, Yusriy Kenny, to rest on Tuesday afternoon.
“Yusriy had gone to the shop on Monday at around 3pm and a few minutes after he had left the house, I heard gunshots,” Kenny told GroundUp. “I was sitting in the dining room. I jumped from the couch and ran outside to see what was happening and that is when I saw Yusriy running as fast as he could.
“I called out his name, and he just kept running. I then saw him go up the stairs at Matilda Court to the second floor. Then I heard my friend, who lives there, shout ‘Liema, Liema kom gou!’ I just knew that something had happened to my son,” said Kenny.
She rushed to the block and found Yusriy sitting on the floor outside her friend’s house. He had been shot. As she was talking to her son, asking him where he came from and what had happened, more shots were fired and he was hit again.
“We dragged him inside the house and laid him on the floor. He had been shot in the hip and the chest. I was by his side the whole time. He said to me, ‘Mummy, I feel so weak, I don’t want to die mummy’. I told him that he would be fine, he should just pray, and I held his hand,” said Kenny.
Yusriy held on to his mother’s hand until the paramedics arrived. They tried to resuscitate him but with no luck. His last words were, ‘Mummy, I can’t see, it’s blurry’.
Manenberg police spokesperson Ian Bennett confirmed the incident and said police suspected that the perpetrators were members of a known local gang, but they couldn’t determine if the incident was gang related. No arrests had yet been made and a murder case has been opened.
People say Yusriy was a very open child he made sure that people knew when something was bothering him. He was part of a group in Manenberg called the Future Generation Community Development, which provides a platform for youth to showcase their talent, or to become involved in extra-mural activities. He also did modelling and played street cricket. He dropped out of Manenberg High School in Grade 10 because of threats he continuously received from gang members on his way to and from school.
Gangs have been terrorising the community of Manenberg for a while now with residents claiming that shots can be heard every day.
The community has started a campaign, Taking Back Our Streets, where they march in solidarity through the streets of Manenberg with placards demanding an end to gang violence.
Last year GroundUp reported on various civil society organisations when they led a solidarity visit to gang stricken Manenberg to monitor the situation and to lend a helping hand to the community.
Source : GroundUp