Cousin’s shot, one dies

A Phoenix woman is demanding justice after her nephew was shot dead and her son left fighting for his life, following a shoot-out at a garage in Springfield Park

Wesley Steenkamp and Shaun Sukhlal were both shot several times. Steenkamp died at the scene, while Sukhlal is in hospital.

Published Feb 18, 2024

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A PHOENIX woman is demanding justice after her nephew was shot dead and her son left fighting for his life, following a shoot-out at a garage in Springfield Park.

Wesley Steenkamp, 30, Shaun Sukhlal, 33, and their cousin, from Eastbury had gone to watch drag racing in the Springfield Park area, when they were shot at several times last Saturday evening (February 3).

Steenkamp, a truck driver, who was shot multiple times including in his chest, died at the scene.

Sukhlal, a sales representative, was shot three times, twice in his left arm and in his pelvic area. The father of one is awaiting surgery for the bullets to be removed. Their younger cousin was not injured.

Eva Munsamy, said her son Shaun, and Steenkamp - her brother’s son - were inseparable and spent almost every weekend together, either at home or going out.

“The boys, together with their other cousins, spent all of their time together. They were each other's friends. They would say that they were a crew, but now one of their ‘soldiers’ has been taken from them.

“According to bystanders who I spoke to when I arrived at the scene, there was a group of boys at the petrol garage, and when my boys drove in, one of the guys from that group uttered some words at them. So, my son jumped out and asked him what he had said - that is when the guy began swearing at him and pulled out his firearm and fired at my child.

“Wesley and my other nephew, who was still in the car, jumped out and ran towards Shaun, and that’s when the guy started firing at them. Wesley fell into my other nephew’s arms and Shaun collapsed a few metres from them. When I arrived, my child was lying in a pool of his blood. In the hospital, we were informed that one of the bullets was lodged behind his gallbladder and he needed to undergo surgery,” she said.

Munsamy said Steenkamp had been raised by her parents from the age of 5.

“His mother wanted him to grow up in a safe environment, as they lived in Wentworth where there was a lot of violence. She wanted to give him a better life. After my parents passed away, he continued to stay with me and my family - for the past 15 years. Wesley was not just my nephew, he was my son. He shared the closest bond with my late husband.

“Shaun has a 10-month-old baby, who could have been fatherless. Wesley was also very fond of the baby and would always spoil him with gifts, and shower him with love. Wesley loved and lived for his family. He was robbed of becoming a husband and a father. He was taken from this earth in a cruel way.

“He will also never achieve his dreams and goals. Just a few days before, he told me that he wanted to get his own place - he wanted to be independent. I told him he was going to leave me after so many years, but I gave him my blessing. He wanted to build his own home,” she said.

Munsamy said the family wouldn’t rest until there was justice.

“We will not remain silent until the person responsible is punished. While it won’t bring our boy back, it will bring us closure. We believe his spirit is restless and his soul will only rest in peace once there is justice.

“ I miss those moments, when I used to come down into the lounge late at night, and he would still be awake because he couldn’t sleep. He would frighten me, but laugh as he was a prankster. Now, whenever I walk into the lounge I get goosebumps, I can feel his presence - I always speak these words out aloud, ‘don’t worry son, we will get justice for you’.

“The perpetrator must come forward and face the consequences of his actions. He attacked my boys who were unarmed, and robbed our family of its joy“ she said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala, a provincial police spokesperson, said Sydenham police were investigating cases of murder and attempted murder.

Steenkamp’s funeral was held at the Bethsaida Ministries International on Saturday, February 10. He was cremated at the Verulam Crematorium.

THE POST

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