At Least 21 Dead After 3 Tavern Shootings in South Africa


JOHANNESBURG — No less than 21 individuals have been killed over the weekend as gunmen opened hearth on three taverns in South Africa, in what the police described as “random” shootings.

Early Sunday morning in Soweto, in Johannesburg, a gaggle of males armed with rifles and automated handguns stormed a busy tavern within the Nomzamo shantytown, within the metropolis’s Orlando East neighborhood, stated Col. Dimakatso Sello, a spokeswoman for the police.

The boys opened hearth round half an hour after midnight in what seemed to be a random capturing, Colonel Sello stated, killing 12 individuals on the scene and injuring 23. Three extra individuals later died at a hospital, the police stated. They stated that these killed have been between the ages of 19 and 35.

The gunmen fled the scene, and no arrests have been made, the police stated. Later Sunday morning, individuals gathered outdoors the tavern because the police eliminated our bodies from the constructing.

Solely hours earlier than the assault in Soweto, gunmen in Pietermaritzburg, a metropolis about 300 miles southeast of Johannesburg in KwaZulu-Natal Province, killed at the least 4 individuals and injured at the least eight in a capturing in a tavern in Sweetwaters, an space on the outskirts of the town, the police stated.

There was no proof that the 2 assaults have been linked, stated Lt.-Col. Nqobile Gwala, a spokeswoman for the police.

Round 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the police stated, two males entered the Sweetwaters tavern and began firing at random earlier than fleeing the scene.

Two individuals died on the tavern and two others at a close-by hospital, the police stated, including that these killed have been between the ages of 30 and 45. Eight different individuals have been additionally taken to a hospital.

In one more tavern capturing over the weekend, gunmen killed two individuals and injured 4 on Friday night time within the Katlehong township, greater than 25 miles east of Soweto. The police stated that 4 males entered the institution, at the least one armed with a pistol, and began capturing randomly. The police haven’t stated whether or not the 2 assaults within the Johannesburg space have been linked, however they stated that they had launched a manhunt for the gunmen.

The three separate assaults, tons of of miles aside, have introduced into sharp focus South Africa’s excessive charge of crime and gun violence. Based on police statistics, the nation recorded 5,760 murders final yr, or 9.5 murders per 100,000 individuals, a 66 p.c enhance from the earlier yr. The police station serving the Sweetwaters neighborhood has the second highest variety of murders reported within the nation, in line with the official statistics.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa condemned the killings, describing them as “unacceptable and worrying.”

Solely two weeks in the past, 21 youngsters mysteriously died throughout an evening out within the coastal metropolis of East London, about 360 miles southwest of Pietermaritzburg. The reason for their deaths continues to be unknown, however officers have dominated out a stampede. The episode set off a nationwide dialog concerning the want for stricter regulation of taverns in South Africa’s townships.

These consuming holes, typically in residential areas, are a legacy of shebeens from the apartheid period, when Black South Africans weren’t allowed to enter segregated bars. These shebeens grew to become websites of violence and dangerous habits, with little oversight, a tradition that continues to at the present time, in line with a 2018 World Well being Group report.

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