There was a heavy police presence in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday when a prison gang member, who witnessed the tragic murder of a two-year-old in Atlantis, took the stand.
Braydon Graaff was killed by a stray bullet while in his mother‘s arms during a gang shootout in October 2016.
Renaldo Galant, Charlton Renier and Andrew Hendricks are accused of murder, two counts of attempted murder and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
The witness, whom the court asked not to be identified in the media, testified that he had been smoking dagga with friends 10 metres away from where the first of six shots were fired.
“[Galant] was wearing a black hooded top. I couldn‘t see what the other accused were wearing because I was focused on the gun that Galant handed to [Renier],” the witness said.
According to the witness, Renier shot another man, suspected to be the target of the shooting, before a stray bullet took Graaff‘s life.
He identified the three accused as members of the G-Unit gang.
During cross-examination, Galant‘s advocate, Salim Banderker, attacked the witness‘s credibility.
The witness revealed that he was a 28s gangster and that he was serving a one-year sentence in prison for theft.
When Banderker questioned his gang affiliations on the Cape Flats, the witness emphasised that he was not an active gangster.
“There are two types of gangs in the Western Cape – the gangs in the community and prison gangs. Prison gangs and community gangs are different. Prison gangsters have the most discipline and respect for the Cape Flats community,” he said.
“If the gang members in prison know that I will be released soon, things are closed. I cannot be active outside. The privilege to be active in prison is taken away when you are released.”
Banderker also asked whether dagga use may have affected the witness‘ mental state.
“Dagga doesn‘t have the same effect on everyone. It makes me more relaxed and focused,” he responded.
Cross-examination will resume on May 27.