“I’m shot, I’m shot! These were the words uttered by Phoenix resident, Kavindren ‘Keegan’ Govender (32), before sucumbing to his injury after being struck in the head by a bullet in Rainham, minutes after the New Year was heralded.
A 41-year-old suspect has since been arrested after he handed himself over to police.
Speaking to the Phoenix Tabloid, spokesman for the Govender family, Mervin Reddy, said Keegan departed to wish his friends a few doors away first after arriving from church and had not even wished his family for the New Year.
“This is a tragedy beyond words. Keegan’s life was snuffed out in the blink of an eye. His family was awaiting his arrival at home unbeknown to them that he had been shot and rushed to hospital. He succumbed to his injury in hospital. Tragically, he never got to wish his loved ones. He planned to surprise his girlfriend with a marriage proposal on Friday and this too will remain unfulfilled,” said Reddy.
Phoenix SAPS Communications Officer, Cpt L Naidoo, said, “A witness alleged that he was at his house and the New Year celebrations were in full swing with fireworks being burnt when the incident unfolded. He alleged he heard someone calling for him and he recognised the deceased’s voice saying ‘I’m shot, I’m shot.’ He and his friends went to check and found that the deceased had fallen to the ground. He noticed blood oozing from the head of the deceased. He and his friends then rushed the deceased to hospital by private transport and after a few hours the deceased passed on.
The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting are not known as yet. A 41-year-old suspect handed himself over to the police.”
“It is alleged that the suspect had blank rounds in his firearm and was firing during the celebration of the New Year. He did not realise that there was also a live round in the firearm which was the result in the death of the deceased,” added Cpt Naidoo.
“Keegan was struck at the back of his skull and the bullet exited from his forehead. No one thought to notify his family a few doors away. They heard of a shooting and went out to check. They then found out that Keegan was shot. The crime was quickly covered up. The blood at the scene was washed away. The vehicle used to transport Keegan to hospital was cleaned. Everyone who witnessed the accidental shooting kept silent about the series of events that led to the tragedy. Thankfully, swift detective work led to the breakthrough in the case,” said Reddy.
Reddy added that there were many inconsistent and speculative stories that emerged since the fatal shooting but proper investigations led to the truth. “Keegan was the sole provider for his elderly and ailing parents and younger sister. His employer and family member, business mogul, Jay Singh, is also shocked by his sudden death. Singh described Keegan as a diligent employee and pleasant individual who won the respect of those he interacted with. Keegan’s mum had to be sedated as both his parents are shattered by his demise,” said Reddy. Mark Pather, Keegan’s uncle, told the Phoenix Tabloid that the family wants justice to prevail in light of Keegan’s death. “Keegan was a humble, loving young man. He was loved by all and had plans for a bright future.
He loved birds and had a heart for birds and people. He lost his life in such a callous manner and we want the law to take its course in this case,” said Pather.Phoenix CPF chairman, Umesh Singh, said, “Phoenix is rocked by another death. The new year has brought more bloodshed and mayhem. Sadly, it appears that the perpetrators in the Christmas Day murder and the New Year shooting are both known. Our condolences to the bereaved family. Police will strive to ensure that no stone will be left unturned in the pursuit of justice.”
“Keegan sadly did not get to enjoy the New Year. We want to thank W/O Deena Govender from the Hawks Provincial Task Team and Gen Ngobeni for their assistance in this case. As Keegan’s family comes to terms with his death, we are working hard to ensure that the perpetrators behind his demise face the full brunt of the law,” added Reddy.