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Boy killed by brick

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Boy killed by brick

by Nurene Jassiem
10 Oct 2006
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

When Shahieda Willoughby accompanied her son to collect his social grant on Tuesday, 26 September, she never imagined that it would be the last outing she and her 19-year-old son would enjoy together.

According to the police, Willoughby's son, Imeraan Brink, died after another youth threw him with a brick. The incident happened near Imeraan's home in Manenberg.

Imeraan was hit in his chest. "My son had a weak heart and his valves were replaced when he was only nine," the tearful mother told People's Post on Thursday as she snuggled against her mother on the living room couch.

"For nearly 20 years I went with him to hospital and we never skipped one appointment. I never allowed him to go alone either," Willoughby says, surrounded by a room filled with loved ones.

During Imeraan's last visit to Groote Schuur in June for his biannual check-up, Willoughby says the doctor said "everything was fine".

Imeraan was unable to fast during the month of Ramadaan due to his illness and Willoughby remembers that on the morning of his death, her son "scolded" her for not waking him to eat the pre-dawn breakfast so that he could fast that day.

"When I woke him to get dressed so that we could go and collect his grant, he was his usual self but scolded me for not waking him up earlier.

"I remember him putting his head on my lap while we were waiting at Social Services," Willoughby says as she traces an imaginary line of where Imeraan's head was on her lap.

"When we were done at Social Services, I put him on a taxi and told him to go straight home," Willoughby says, her voice trembling.

The only thing Willoughby knows about what happened next, is that her sister called to say that Imeraan had been thrown with a stone in front of his chest, and had been rushed to GF Jooste Hospital. "But by that time it was too late."

"He was a very jolly person and he liked to tease me. Sometimes I would almost get angry at him for teasing me the way he did. I will remember him as a child who liked to eat, sleep and make jokes," Willoughby adds wistfully.

She says that she would like to be present at the hearing of the youth who is accused of throwing the brick at Imeraan, but adds that she does not want revenge.

"I just want to know what happened to my boy, but nothing will bring him back so it won't help if I'm angry at the world for what happened," she adds.

Willoughby thanks the Manenberg Police for picking her son up and taking him to the hospital as well as her family, friends and neighbours for their support in her time of need.

Imeraan was buried on Tuesday night in line with Islamic custom. The youth arrested in connection with his death was released on bail after appearing briefly in the Athlone Magistrates Court on Thursday.

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