Something just did not feel right. There was blood in the dish. I fell down. The bullet had hit me at the back.”
These are the harrowing words of an unemployed man from Crossroads who was hit by a stray bullet, allegedly as an officer pursued a robber involved in a violent armed robbery at Philippi Plaza in February.
As a result of the gunshot wound doctors had to remove one of Vuyisa Sityebi’s kidneys and his liver and intestines were also damaged.
When Mr Sityebi was shot on Wednesday February 19, he had just returned home from looking for work and was about to eat.
The shooting, he said, changed his life. And he feared he may never be able to work again.
Added to his woes is that nearly six months after he was shot, he has not heard from the investigating officer and he has no indication that the matter has been taken up with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) which investigates complaints against SAPS.
After he was shot, he said, he was seen and taken to hospital, where he stayed until Tuesday March 17 but returned again on Monday April 27.
While Mr Sityebi has fully recovered from the wounds and operation, he often has pain. “My kidney was damaged and removed. I had to do a big operation,” he told Vukani.
“I will never ever work again. This is the fault of the shooters. For this I should be compensated. But now police detectives are quiet about it. When I call him he just drops my calls,” he said.
“This is a lifetime injury and a painful experience that I have to live with. I never even got a counselling. But I appreciate the support from my elder brother and some of the community members.”Nyanga Police spokesperson Captain Ntomboxolo Sitshitshi said the matter was still under investigation and that detectives were awaiting the ballistics report which will tell them, among others, what type of firearm was used, where it was fired from and how many shots were fired.