/ 29 August 2022

Tombstone and wall of remembrance unveiled for slain teenager Nathaniel Julies

South African Police Officers Accused In Nathaniel Julies Murder Case Denied Bail
Nathaniel Julies's parents look on during the bail hearing of the three accused of killing him in 2021. (Photo by Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Bridgette Harris, the mother of Eldorado Park teenager Nathaniel Julies, who was allegedly gunned down by police two years ago, says she is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her son. 

She and Eldorado Park residents gathered on Sunday to commemorate the death of Julies. A wall of remembrance was erected in his honour, while a tombstone unveiling was held earlier in the day at his gravesite.

Harris said at the event that although the family was still seeking closure, they had been overwhelmed by the support from residents and some political parties since the killing. 

“He was a special child and losing him the way we did was so unfortunate. It’s been two years and we are still waiting for justice, and I believe with God on our side we believe we will see that day,” said Harris.

On 26 August 2020 16-year-old Julies, who lived with Down syndrome, was shot metres away from his home allegedly by police after he returned from buying a pack of biscuits from a local shop during lockdown.

The officers accused of the murder — Caylene Whiteboy, Voster Netshiongolo and Simon ‘Scorpion’ Ndyalvane — are out on bail and expected to appear before the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court on 3 October when the murder trial is set to restart. This comes after the death of Judge Ramarumo Monama, who died after a short illness in late February.

Harris said: “In the first trial so much was revealed, which has given us half of the justice we need. We will finally be able to rejoice once we have received justice for Nathaniel.”

Speaking at the commemoration, Patriotic Alliance president Gayton Mckenzie said Julies was killed by his “heroes”, the police, the people he thought were his protectors.

“He loved the police and always ran to them when he was a child. The police were supposed to protect him and not be the reason for his last breath. There needs to be justice for Nathaniel Julies and we hope that with this wall of remembrance and the plaque we will be reminded of the police brutality in our country,” said Mckenzie.

Eldorado Park residents have also joined hands in a fight against gun violence and the “rampant abuse of drugs in the area”. 

Several residents said at the event that their lives were constantly at risk because of frequent gang turf shootings in the area. Last month, residents marched to Eldorado Park police station demanding extensive police visibility in the area.