Cape Town – Two of three men accused of killing a two-year-old Atlantis toddler have been found guilty of his murder in the Western Cape High Court.
Little Braydon Graaff died in October 2016 after he was hit by a stray gang bullet while in his mother Rostan’s arms.
Rostan was also injured by the same bullet that went through her left wrist.
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The incident happened in Robinvale, close to their home.
The mother and son were on their way to visit Braydon’s father.
Another person, the suspects’ intended victim, was shot in the arm during the incident.
Suspects Renaldo Gelant, Charlton “Challo” Renier and Andrew “Pikes” Hendricks faced one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, one count under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Two of the accused are members of the G-Unit gang.
Braydon’s parents and grandmothers were the only people in the gallery yesterday.
According to multiple witnesses who testified, the accused were in a blue VW Polo.
Gelant and Renier got out to discuss something.
Gelant then took out a firearm from the front of his pants and handed it to Renier, who fired multiple shots at the injured victim, who may not be named according to a court order.
Hendricks, who was behind the wheel, started driving away slowly and Gelant jumped in.
At that point, Renier’s gun jammed and angry residents started chasing him.
He managed to also jump into the vehicle and the trio sped off.
All three accused pleaded not guilty and took to the stand.
“Accused one (Gelant) says he was sleeping as he had smoked mandrax and later went to a friend to entertain himself. He was smoking mandrax in a friend’s garage when he was arrested,” Judge Thandazwa Ndita explained.
“Accused two (Renier) says he and his brother had laid a cement floor the entire day and after cutting his hair, he had beers with his brother.
“Accused three (Hendricks) stated he was attending an end of year sport function in Sunningdale and he saw on Facebook the post regarding Rostan’s son’s death.”
Ndita says she believes Hendricks was a pawn and not part of the murder plot.
“Gelant and Renier were outside the vehicle having a discussion. Why did they not exchange ownership of the firearm in the car if Hendricks was part of the plan?” Ndita questioned.
She also found Gelant and Renier guilty of being gangsters, saying their tattoos corresponded with that of the G-Unit gang in Atlantis.
“Although no firearm was recovered, I am convinced the crime was for the G-Unit gang.”
She found Gelant guilty of all charges, except the assault charge.
Renier was convicted of all the charges while Hendricks was found not guilty on all charges “as no common cause could be found within the evidence,” the judge said.
The matter has been postponed to 16 October for a Correctional Service report before sentencing procedures commence.
Braydon’s family said they would only comment after the sentencing.