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Compiled by Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Bird hunting horror: Father ‘accidentally’ shoots 7-month-old son dead

The seven-month-old Limpopo boy was 'accidentally' shot and killed while his father was hunting for birds with his pellet rifle.

A Limpopo man, who was hunting for birds with his pellet rifle next to his home in Maololo, Ga-Mashabela village, was arrested for murder following the fatal shooting of his seven-month-old son.

The 36-year-old man was arrested on Sunday, 23 April, and is set to appear in the Nebo Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 25 April, on a charge of murder.

According to police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the infant’s parents rushed him to a local clinic where he was certified dead on arrival, having suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

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Pellet rifle tragedy

“Both parents were interviewed and it was revealed that the child’s father was hunting for birds with a pellet rifle near their home when the child was accidentally shot,” Mojapelo said.

The suspect was arrested and charged with murder. Police have confiscated the weapon.

An investigation into the circumstances of the shooting incident is under way.

Pellet rifle licence regulations

It is unclear what type of pellet rifle the Limpopo man was using and whether it is licensed.

However, according to the South African Hunter Field Target Association (Sahfta), “any air gun that exceeds both the 5.6mm calibre and muzzle energy of 8 joules (watts) is classified as a firearm in South Africa and in terms of the Firearms Control Act (FCA), a firearms licence is required to own and operate such”.

Acting provincial police commissioner, Major General Jan Scheepers, has condemned the incident and urged communities to practice safety at all times when handling weapons.

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Crime and Courts firearms Limpopo