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 fireplace 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, mentioned Col. Dimakatso Sello, a spokeswoman for the police.

The boys opened fireplace round half an hour after midnight in what seemed to be a random taking pictures, Colonel Sello mentioned, killing 12 individuals on the scene and injuring 23. Three extra individuals later died at a hospital, the police mentioned. They mentioned 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 mentioned. Later Sunday morning, individuals gathered exterior 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 not less than 4 individuals and injured not less than eight in a taking pictures in a tavern in Sweetwaters, an space on the outskirts of the town, the police mentioned.

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

Round 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the police mentioned, 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 mentioned, 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 taking pictures over the weekend, gunmen killed two individuals and injured 4 on Friday evening within the Katlehong township, greater than 25 miles east of Soweto. The police mentioned that 4 males entered the institution, not less than one armed with a pistol, and began taking pictures randomly. The police haven’t mentioned whether or not the 2 assaults within the Johannesburg space have been linked, however they mentioned they’d launched a manhunt for the gunmen.

The three separate assaults, lots of of miles aside, have introduced into sharp focus South Africa’s excessive price of crime and gun violence. According to police statistics, the nation recorded 5,760 murders final 12 months, or 9.5 murders per 100,000 individuals, a 66 % improve from the earlier 12 months. 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 teenagers 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 national conversation about the need for stricter regulation of taverns in South Africa’s townships.

These ingesting 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 day, in line with a 2018 World Health Organization report.

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