A prison gangster and eyewitness to the murder of two-year-old Braydon Graaff passionately defended his testimony during cross-examination in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Graaff was killed by a stray bullet while in his mother‘s arms during an alleged gang hit in Atlantis, Cape Town in October 2016.
Renaldo Galant, Charlton Renier and Andrew Hendricks are accused of murder, attempted murder and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
The 28s gangster appeared to take offence when Galant‘s advocate Salim Banderker asked whether a police officer had coached him.
“No one forced me to stand in this box. I exercised my right to testify because we lost a small boy,” the witness responded.
“I have a duty to protect small children. The gangsters in the community don‘t have hearts because they get drugs and money. They have no respect for elders in the community, especially children [sic].”
Renier‘s advocate Jan Buurman, took over cross-examination and grilled the witness on his version of events of what transpired the night of the shooting.
The witness said Renier had been wearing a black hoodie and that he could clearly see Renier‘s face before the shooting.
However, he could not provide any descriptions of the co-accused because he said he was more focused on the firearm being passed from Galant to Renier.
Buurman questioned the witness‘ ability to identify the accused on that particular evening, given the fact that the shooting occurred at 21:00 and the lighting was poor.
But the witness contended that he was able to identify the accused because the getaway vehicle, a VW Polo, was parked near a mobile store, which had bright lighting.
After Renier allegedly fired the six shots, the witness admitted to ordering his friends to go after the accused.
The witness appeared to be irritated when Buurman asked whether he acted under the instruction of the 28s.
“What does this have to do with the 28s? No, I was never instructed by the 28s or other people who mix with the 28s,” the witness said.
Judge Thandazwa Ndita ordered that the witness not be identified in the media for safety purposes.
Cross-examination of the witness will resume on Tuesday.