Durban - Instead of writing his first matric exam paper on Monday, a Newlands West teenager will attend the funeral of his eldest brother.
Romano Dean Govender, 20, was at a friend’s 16th birthday party at a hall at Hillgrove Secondary School when he was allegedly shot dead by a policeman on Saturday night. He had apparently tried to intervene in a fight between two boys, over a girl.
Niven Govender said on Sunday that witnesses had told him his nephew had tried to separate the sparring boys.
“Romano managed to break up the fight and was walking out of the school yard with one of the boys when he was shot. He died in the school car park.”
The policeman who allegedly shot him had been a guest at the party, Govender said.
The bullet entered Romano’s arm and lodged in the youngster’s heart, Govender said.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesman, Moses Dlamini, said it was being investigated. He said details were sketchy at this stage.
The policeman is being held at the Inanda police station. He was expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of murder.
Govender said his nephew was shot at about 9.30pm. The policeman had allegedly used his service gun.
“None of us was allowed near the scene. But, the suspect was walking around the body. He had not been cuffed,” he said. “We also requested that a blood test be conducted on him to see if he had been under the influence of alcohol. But, we were ignored.”
Govender said his sister, Julie, was a single parent and extremely distraught at her son’s death.
He said Romano’s brother, Romero, was due to write his first matric paper on Monday. “But, he will not be able to go ahead with the exams. Instead he will have to attend his brother’s funeral.”
Govender denied claims that his nephew had been armed.
“I fetched his possessions from the police station. All he had was his cellphone and a backpack with his work stuff. Police found no weapons,” he said.
“He had big dreams. He was going to emigrate to Australia in coming weeks to seek a better life for himself. But his life and ambitions were snuffed out.”
Govender said the family was calling for a full investigation and hoped his nephew’s killer would spend a long time in jail.
“This was cold-blooded murder. A defenceless boy was shot dead in front of his friends. More than five witnesses confirmed that Romano had not been involved in the fight,” he said. “In fact, he was trying to defuse an ugly situation. This cost him his life. We just want justice.”
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has condemned the shooting on the school premises and has called for a full investigation.
Department spokesman, Muzi Mahlambi, said:
“We welcome events at schools, but provided they are of educational value. Often parties encourage unbecoming behaviour and alcohol abuse. They are also very noisy. This goes against all the values we try to instil in pupils.”
“We will send out counsellors to the school to provide psychological support to pupils and teachers.”