Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

11 July 2022

At least 19 people were killed in two evidently random shootings within hours on 10 July 2022.

Gunmen, armed with rifles and pistols opened fire at Mdlalose’s tavern in Nomzamo informal settlement, Orlando East, Soweto in the early hours of Sunday, 10 July 2022, killing fifteen (15) people and wounding nine (9), police said.

Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela said around 00:30 police were notified of a shootout happening at a tavern in Nomzamo Park.

Upon arrival, police said they found that a 9mm firearm was used, a few cartridges were found on the scene.

“We believe that there must have been more than one shooter, at this stage we don’t know what the motive for the shooting was, but I can say that the scene looks like the shooters came here with an intention to kill but randomly so,” said Mawela.

Mawela said the ages of the deceased ranged from 19 to 35, and it’s believed that a total of 23 people were shot at, most of them being males.

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, who spoke on the sidelines of the 14th ANC Gauteng provincial conference, said lawlessness will not be tolerated.

“The police are doing their work and are hot on the heels of those who are involved and all we can say now is that all law enforcement officials in Gauteng are all out to try and track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime and we would like them to bring them to book,” he said.

He conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families and said he was praying for those who were in critical condition.

Police confirmed a second apparent random shooting hours earlier, at around 20:30 on Saturday, 09 July 2022, at a tavern in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, which saw four people killed and eight (8) wounded.

Two (2) men jumped out of the motor vehicle, entered the tavern, and fired shots randomly at the patrons.

“A total of 12 people were shot.

Two (2) people were declared dead at the scene and the other two died in hospital.

The suspects fled the scene after the incident,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala.

Police said cases of murder and attempted murder had been opened for investigation at Plessislaer SAPS.

The docket has been transferred to the Provincial Organised Crime Unit which will take over the investigation.

Both occurrences come just weeks after the Enyobeni Tavern tragedy, a tavern in East London, Eastern Cape, where 21 people died on 26 June.

Police Officers said they did not believe the two shootings were linked.

The gunmen from both occurrences are on the run, the police said it was not clear how many assailants were involved in each of two shootings.