Police identify three suspects after boy injured by ‘cigarette’ blast
In a suspected horrifying prank, a young Port Elizabeth schoolboy was severely injured when a firecracker exploded in his face after it is believed to have been offered to him by three young men as a “cigarette”.
And three brothers from Summerstrand – the sons of a police colonel who are all in their 20s – have now been linked to an investigation of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm which could be changed to attempted murder.
Due to the explosion from the firecracker, 12-year-old Shane Witbooi, a Grade 6 pupil at Rufane Donkin Primary School in Gelvandale, is in hospital with burns and other injuries to his face.
His eyes are swollen shut and he has difficulty speaking or communicating.
The suspected prank took place in the early hours of Sunday when Humewood and Summerstrand residents reported hearing loud bangs and explosions.
Provincial Hospital staff said while Shane was no longer in a critical condition, he was in severe pain and the extent of any permanent damage still had to be determined.
Shane’s eyes are swollen shut, his lips split and his face and arms burnt.
The damage to his eyes or ears will only be known when further tests are done.