Stray bul­let lodges in woman’s back

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - KOWTHAR SOLOMONS

WASEEMA Pierie nar­rowly es­caped paral­y­sis and will spend the rest of her life with a bul­let in her back af­ter be­com­ing a statistic in the resur­gence of gang vi­o­lence in Ma­nen­berg.

The 23-year-old mother of two was hit by a stray bul­let on Tues­day while walk­ing home with her four-year-old daugh­ter Za­haraa from a nearby shop on Renos­ter Street, one of the four ma­jor bat­tle­grounds of the Amer­i­cans and Hard Liv­ings gangs.

Pierie said she hadn’t even re­alised she’d been shot un­til she saw her hand was cov­ered in blood.

“I heard the first shot whiz through the air. Get­ting my daugh­ter to safety was my only con­cern so I grabbed her and ran into a neigh­bour’s house. I felt a pain from my lower back, and felt a wet and warm sen­sa­tion when I put my hand on it. When I looked at my hand, it was cov­ered in my own blood.”

Pierie was rushed to a nearby hos­pi­tal, where doc­tors told her the bul­let was lodged five cen­time­tres from her spine and it was highly likely that if they op­er­ated to re­move it, she would be per­ma­nently paral­ysed.

“When I was shot the only thing I cared about was Za­haraa and my eight-mon­thold son Zayaad. Even if the bul­let is in my back for the rest of my life, at least I’ll be there for my chil­dren.”

Pierie is on med­i­ca­tion for the pain, and says the prox­im­ity of the bul­let to her spine causes her right leg to twitch.

And now, she adds, she’s ter­ri­fied to leave the house.

“We won’t go out­side un­less we know the po­lice car is pa­trolling the area or a Nyala is sta­tioned in the road.”

Two weeks ago a stray bul­let killed Pierie’s neigh­bour Gar­nit Lot­ter­ing, 17.

His sis­ter, Ragiema Isaacs, said she was still shaken by her brother’s death.

“On the night he died I warned Gar­nit that they had been shoot­ing out­side ear­lier, and he said he would be back soon. My daugh­ter came to my room 10 min­utes later and told me Gar­nit had been shot.

“We lost our mother last year and I tried my best to look af­ter him, as a sis­ter and a mother. I was in de­nial about his death un­til the day of the fu­neral. I think that was the first time I ac­cepted that I would never see my brother alive again,” she said.


LIV­ING IN FEAR: Waseema Pierie nar­rowly es­caped paral­y­sis when she was shot in the back while walk­ing on Renos­ter Street with her daugh­ter.

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