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Deaths rise to 15 as two shot in Katlehong




The death toll of the shooting at the Soweto tavern has risen to 15.

The shooting took place at the Mdlalose tavern in the Nomzamo informal settlement in Orlando East in the early hours of Sunday.

Soweto tavern killing

Several people were left injured in Soweto with 14 deaths initially being confirmed by the South African Police Service (Saps).

Police at the scene of a shooting in a tavern that saw at least 15 people dead. The Emazulweni tavern in Nomzamo Park in Soweto, 10 July 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen
Police at the scene of a shooting at a tavern that saw at least 15 people die. The Emazulwini tavern in Nomzamo Park in Soweto, 10 July 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

“It is reported that on [Sunday] at about 00:30, a group of men armed with rifles and 9mm pistols entered the tavern and started shooting randomly at the patrons who were sitting inside.

“23 people were shot, 12 of whom were declared dead on the scene, while 11 were rushed to a nearby hospital. Two more were later declared dead at the hospital,” Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela said in a statement on Sunday.

Onlookers at the scene of a shooting in a tavern that saw at least 15 people dead. The Emazulweni tavern in Nomzamo Park in Soweto, 10 July 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen
Onlookers at the scene of a shooting in a tavern that saw at least 15 people dead. The Emazulweni tavern in Nomzamo Park in Soweto, 10 July 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

While police opened 14 cases of murder and nine of attempted murder, the number of deaths has risen to 15.

Earlier, Mawela told Newzroom Afrika preliminary investigations have indicated armed suspect/s –  who fled in a Toyota Quantum – opened fire at patrons in the tavern while “they were enjoying themselves”.

“All of a sudden they heard some gunshots… others thought it was outside and then when they saw that some people are dropping dead inside others pretended as if they are also injured or dead,” he explained.

Soweto tavern killing update: Deaths rise to 15 as two shot in Katlehong
Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service members remove the body of one of the victims at the scene of a shooting at Emazulwini tavern, Soweto, that killed at least 15 people on 10 July 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

He added that the motive at this stage was not known and investigations were still taking place at the crime scene.

“The person or persons just fired randomly so they didn’t target anybody. It is clear that these people were determined… they wanted to kill. For what reason nobody knows [but] we will continue with the investigations until we establish a motive,” Mawela said.

READ MORE: Enyobeni tragedy: Tavern owner to face criminal charges – ECLB

Soweto tavern killing investigation

The National Liquor Traders (NLT) has called on police to investigate fully the circumstances that led to the incident.

Soweto tavern killing update: Deaths rise to 15 as two shot in Katlehong
The scene of the shooting at the Emazulwini tavern in Nomzamo Park, Soweto, on 10 July 2022, that saw at least 15 people die. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

The NLT convener, Lucky Ntimane said the shooting was of grave concern, adding that “the perpetrators must be brought to book swiftly to prevent any further incidents.”

Soweto tavern killing update: Deaths rise to 15 as two shot in Katlehong
Police and Forensics at the scene of the shooting at the Emazulwini tavern in Nomzamo Park, Soweto, on 10 July 2022., that killed at least 15 people. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

“Taverns provide a livelihood for thousands of township businessmen and women and are an important component of local township economies.

ALSO READ: ‘They danced until they died’ – Enyobeni tragedy highlights SA’s unhealthy relationship with booze

“The targeting of taverns is particularly concerning as they provide social enjoyment for many people and this incident puts further pressure on a sector which has been hard hit during the Covid-19 lockdowns,” Ntimane said in a statement on Sunday.

Soweto tavern killing update: Deaths rise to 15 as two shot in Katlehong
Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service members collect evidence at the scene of the Emazulwini tavern shooting in Soweto that killed at least 15 people on 10 July 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

Katlehong tavern shooting

Meanwhile, there was another shooting at the Mputlane Inn Tavern in Katlehong.

eNCA has reported four unknown gunmen entered the tavern on Friday and fired shots aimed at a snooker table, where six people were wounded.

Two people died at the scene, while two others were rushed to hospital.

Pietermaritzburg shooting

Four people have also died after a shooting at a tavern in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the South African Police Service (Saps) has confirmed.

Two armed men driving a VW Polo reportedly stormed into the tavern in Sweetwaters around 8.30pm on Saturday and opened fire on patrons, leaving eight other people injured.

“Two males jumped out of the vehicle, entered the tavern and fired random shots at the patrons. A total of twelve people were shot.

ALSO READ: ‘It wasn’t my intention for this to happen’: Enyobeni tavern owner

“Two people were declared dead at the scene and the other two died in hospital. Another eight people are still in hospital after they sustained injuries,” KZN police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala said in a statement.

Police have since launched an investigation into the shooting.

“The suspects fled the scene after the incident. The deceased are aged between 30 and 45. Charges of murder and attempted murder were opened for investigation at Plessislaer Saps.

“The docket has been transferred to the Provincial Organised Crime Unit who will take over the investigation,” Gwala added.

The shootings come after 21 teenagers died at the Enyobeni tavern in East London, Eastern Cape, last month.

The teens – aged 13 to 17 – were reportedly killed by toxic fumes emanating from a petrol generator suspected to have been used inside the tavern in Scenery Park.





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