A four-year-old child died last weekend in Mfuleni in Cape Town when he landed in front of the vehicle of a member of the Western Cape government’s program for the promotion of law enforcement, better known as Leap.
JP Smith, Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety, says the Leap officer was patrolling the streets of the township on Friday when the accident happened.
“According to an eyewitness, the child crossed the road and then realized that his friends were no longer with him,” says Smith.
“The child tried to cross the road again and that’s when the accident happened.”
The officer apparently immediately jumped out of his van after hitting the child and paramedics were called to the scene. However, the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The officer who was driving was badly traumatized by the incident,” says Smith.
“For his own safety, he handed in his firearm and he will receive further counselling.”
The police have already launched an investigation into the incident and the Cape Town Metro will also conduct an internal investigation.
“This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family of the young boy and those affected by the tragedy,” says Smith.
“The management of Leap will in the meantime contact the family of the child who died and offer them its support.”