Nathaniel Julius buried

…community says it will never forget Lockie

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Bongani Siziba

Lockie, as the late Nathaniel Julius was affectionately known by the Eldorado Park community may be gone but his memories will remain in the people forever.

So adored was Lockie that his death at just 16 has united his community.

He was shot and killed allegedly by members of the South African Police Service (Saps) last month sparking violent clashes between the police and the community.

At a funeral service held in his honour just before his burial on Saturday, Reverend Hattings comforted his family and encouraged them to draw comfort in God.

He also thanked the Eldorado Park community and the rest of South African for supporting the family in its time of need.

“We may find it difficult to accept but one thing we all know is that Nathaniel is with the Lord now and in a better place, this is not the time to mourn but to reflect on the memories he left for us,” said Hattings.

“Justice will be served and we will all find peace.”

Some of the mourners at Lockie’s funeral

Earlier during the week, the Police minister Beki Cele visited the area to pay his respects and assured the community that justice would be served

“The police will not investigate itself, so the matter is with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) now. We promise whoever did this will face the law,” said Cele.

Nathaniel’s uncle Cyril Brown said: “Seeing my nephew lying lifeless in a coffin is so painful, l never imagined seeing him this way.

“Tomorrow is a Sunday; l won’t be giving him another haircut because he is gone. It is going to be difficult to forget the memories we shared together. l always have lunch at his house every Sunday and he would be the first to see me and call his mother ‘Mama, papa’ and give me a cup of tea,” said Brown.

A community member at the funeral, Jasmine Pieterson described Nathaniel as a peaceful soul.

“We are here today as a community… Lockie loved everyone, he would greet you many times and if you do not respond, he would greet you again. He loved biscuits, he died while eating his treat. Every day he would come to the same spot to eat his biscuits. As neighbours, we will miss his routines,” she said.

 

Another community member Stephen Brown said: “That boy was always laughing, he was always dressed nicely”.

“A beautiful soul who was taken away from us too soon. We always played soccer with him and every time he would kick the ball he would celebrate because he thought it was a score. How will we forget those memories that he left us.”

Eyewitnesses said the police shot him after he failed to answer their questions. Lockie was living with Down’s Syndrome and struggled with speech.

Cyril Brown, Lockie’s uncle, expressed shock at the allegations that the police allegedly thought that the deceased was part of a criminal gang.

Mourners display placards at the funeral

Lockie was buried at Klipspruit Cemetery on Saturday.

Meanwhile, three police officers last week appeared before court charged with teenager’s murder. The suspects will next appear in court on Thursday. They are charged with murder, possession of prohibited ammunition, discharging a firearm in public and defeating the ends of justice.

 

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