ANICLITO JENNIKER, 13,
KILLED ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 2009
FIVE years have passed but the family of gang violence victim Aniclito Jenniker, 13, have never recovered from his death when he was struck by a stray bullet while sitting outside on the pavement with two friends enjoying a bompie (a homemade flavoured ice treat).
After Aniclito was shot in the head in March 2009, his mother, Carika, 30, died only one year later of a heart attack.
“She was heart-broken after Aniclito’s death. She never recovered and after she lost him she just wasted away until she eventually died herself. It is like we lost two people because of the one shooting,” his grandmother, Mara Jenniker, said.
“He was a cheerful boy who was always playing. He was a good child,” she said of Aniclito, who was a Grade 6 pupil at Helenvale Primary School when he died.
She described his younger brother, Antonio, who is now 10, as only a shell of the child he used to be.
“Luchen Pieterse, who died only the other day, was Antonio’s friend as well. Antonio has lost his entire family and one of his best friends. He lives with us now. We went for counselling after Aniclito’s death but he is still struggling. He has always been very scared and nervous but now things are going to be much more difficult for him,” Antonio’s aunt, Catherine Jenniker, said.
The Jennikers said they did not know why shootings occurred so often in Ibex Road. “I have lived in this street for 53 years and it has never been this bad. Innocent children did not die back in my day because back then the gangsters walked up to each other and either started fighting or shot right there. Today they are all kids who shoot from far away and they do not care who is standing in the way,” Mara said.
They said while some police officers patrolled often, others did not seem to work hard.
“Not even if the police come in and search every single house in Helenvale will these gangsters stop. Nothing will stop them because they will just find more drugs and more guns. We will never be safe but I think bringing back the death penalty will help,” Mara said.