Child shooting: Suspect appears in court

Police say witnesses pointed out the accused who was arrested in church on Sunday.

Protesting members of the Westbury community are demanding to see the man arrested in connection with an incident of suspected gang violence that saw a three-year-old boy being shot in the head on 4 August 2014. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A Westbury man arrested in connection with a shooting which left three-year-old Luke Tibbetts with a bullet in his head has appeared in court and been charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Lindray Khakhu made his first appearance in the Sophiatown Magistrates Court this morning.

Tibbetts meanwhile remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The toddler was struck by a stray bullet while sitting on his mother's lap at the back of a vehicle transporting them on Saturday.

Police say witnesses pointed out the accused who was arrested in church on Sunday.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane attended today's court proceedings.

At the same time, the little boy's family says Saturday's shooting had nothing to do with a gang fight, contrary to what the accused's relatives have said.

Tibbetts's uncle Llewellyn Valentines says this was an isolated crime and had nothing to do with gangsterism or drugs in Westbury.

"Luke and his mom were offered a lift and it just so happens that they were caught up in this shooting."

But the sister of the man arrested in connection with the shooting has claimed that members of a gang calling themselves 'Varadors' were looking for her brother moments before the shooting.

"As far as I know my brother is a Fast Gun gang member and a rival gang came to our corner and began shooting."

MAKHURA MEETS WITH POLICE BOSSES

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has met with police bosses at the Sophiatown police station.

The premier has taken urgent steps to deal with the problem of poor policing in the Westbury community.

Angry community members took their concerns to the provincial government on Monday, which prompted Makhura's unannounced visit to the police station.

He is now meeting with senior officers at the station to get to the bottom of what is being done to eradicate gangsterism and other crimes in the area.

"I saw the station commander on Monday, I am very confident that she is providing the kind of leadership that will help us deal with all these issues."

Meanwhile, the accused's father visited his son at Sophiatown police station on Monday.

He said the community is being unfair.

"That's why I am fighting as well. You cannot say you're going to kill my child. Why? Give me a reason why you want to kill my child?"

The father said mob justice is not the answer.

The incident comes just three weeks after the death of four-year-old Taegrin Morris who was killed in a hijacking in Boksburg after he was dragged behind his parents' hijacked car.