Seven-year-old Mehnaaz Badloo, who was heading to an Islamic class near her home, was crossing Sherfield Street when she was hit by a marked doublecab police van which was allegedly being driven by an off-duty officer on Friday afternoon.
Police Captain Mbulaheni Netshivhodza said a case of reckless and negligent driving was under investigation. “The officer involved was attending to a complaint when the accident happened. According to him, he had already driven past the stop sign when the child ran into the street,” he said.
Mehnaaz, who sustained head injuries and was breathing with the aid of machines, also sustained some bruises to her face and lay motionless with her parents, Naeem and Lutfiah Badloo, by her bedside.
They were shocked when they arrived at the hospital earlier to find that their daughter had been placed beside 12-year-old Ayanda Ndlovu, who has a wound in the back of his head from an incident that also involved police.
Ndlovu, who is now recovering in a trauma unit, was allegedly shot in the head by police during a protest for speed humps in Zondi, Soweto, late on Thursday afternoon.
His mother, Sonto Ndlovu, breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday when her son was removed from ICU in the afternoon and showed no signs of brain damage as he related how he was shot by an officer he had briefly exchanged glances with before the shooting suddenly began.
The boy tried to hide his wounded head with a hospital sheet and repeatedly wiped away the tears streaming down his face as he spoke to family members.
“He is very traumatised and emotional,” his mother said.
Mehnaaz’s father said having the two children in intensive care showed the level of police negligence because “they think they are above the law”.
Mehnaaz’s mother added: “Now my child is in ICU and will have to repeat the same grade at school because she has missed her school exams for this year.”