Gauteng Premier David Makhura has called on the police to hunt down the suspects involved in the tavern shooting in Orlando East, Soweto.
Fifteen people were killed during the incident, while eight other people were wounded on Sunday.
It has also emerged that two more people have been shot and killed in a separate incident at a tavern in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni.
Makhura has condemned the incident.
“We have said to the police in our province that they must hunt down the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Every criminal activity committed in Gauteng, the police have been doing the best they can to hunt them down. And I must say that we have been strengthening the police teams that have been dealing with all sorts of crime. We must continue to do so, “says Makhura.
Proliferation of firearms in Gauteng central to the rise in mass shootings: MEC
The Mjoli siblings were among those who lost their lives in the tragedy. Their uncle, Mbuyiseni Mjoli, says they are struggling to come to terms with their loss. 13 people were declared dead on the scene. The death toll later rose to 15.
Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko expresses her shock and sent condolences to the affected families.
“It is confirmed now that 15 have passed on. Two have just died now in hospital. What is sad is that it’s men and women that lost their lives. On behalf of the Gauteng government, we would like to send our condolences. About 8 people are in hospital, 3 are in a critical condition,” says Mazibuko.
Katlehong tavern shooting
A number of people were also ambushed and shot at a tavern in a separate incident in Katlehong, East Rand. Gauteng Police Commissioner, Elias Mawela, says the province has a gun problem.
“Yes, we do have a problem with the proliferation of firearms. No doubt about it. Based on the level of firearms we are facing here in Gauteng and the level of crimes. The CITs (cash in transit heists) are a problem in Gauteng. Business and house robberies and just random murders. Gauteng, we were not featuring hard in terms of the murders it was KZN and Western Cape.”
On Saturday night, in another tavern shooting in Pietermaritzburg, four people were killed and eight others were wounded.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his shock and has sent condolences to the families of those who died in the incidents.
‘Tighten laws governing firearms’
The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in Gauteng has urged the government to tighten the laws governing firearms.
SANCO representative for the region Chris Malematja says, “We want to call upon the law enforcement with the assistance of the community to bring the perpetrators to book. It is of real disappointment that in a new democratic South Africa people can still ambush people who are not doing anything wrong, who are just enjoying themselves. We call upon the minister of Police to reinforce the regulations on these illegal guns and we ensure that those who are found to have illegal guns are having harsh sentences. We further want to speak to those who are operating taverns to ensure they have good security that is able to protect those going there for leisure.”
Freedom Plus leader Pieter Groenewald weighs in on the shootings:
Liquor board weighs in
Residents in the area say they are used to hearing gunshots at night. The National Liquor Traders says taverns should be places where patrons can socialise and enjoy alcoholic beverages in a safe environment. National Liquor Traders Convener, Lucky Ntimane, says the perpetrators must be brought to book swiftly to prevent any further incidents.
“The NLT is concerned for the security of its traders and patrons. The NLT has learned with sadness of another loss of lives at a tavern in Soweto. We call on the police to investigate fully the circumstances that led to this tragedy. This is of great concern and the perpetrators must be brought to book to prevent any further incidents,” Ntimane says.
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