Shootings kill 19 at two bars in South Africa

Des shootings leave 19 dead in two bars in South Africa

Members of the South African police and a team of crime scene technicians inspect the scene of the shooting in Soweto, near Johannesburg, where 15 people were killed overnight from Saturday to Sunday.

Two shootings in bars in South Africa, where the assailants appear to have fired randomly at customers, left 19 dead overnight from Saturday to Sunday, according to a police count.< /p>

In Soweto, near Johannesburg, 15 young people, including two women, were killed when several assailants opened fire on the enjoying crowd, while in Pietermaritzburg four people at tables were killed by men who opened fire indiscriminately.

The similar modus operandi intrigues investigators, even though shootings are common in South Africa, one of the most violent countries in the world, fueled by gang violence and alcohol.

In Soweto, the largest historic township in Johannesburg, southwest of the South African economic capital, the police were called in the night, around 12:30 a.m.

When we arrived there, we found 12 people dead, with gunshot wounds, Nonhlanhla Kubheka, a local police official, told AFP.

A Ten injured people were taken to hospital and three of them died there shortly after their arrival, she said.

The victims are young people, between the ages of 19 and 35.

No details were available on the number of assailants. They arrived and shot people who were having fun, said Ms. Kubheka, commandant of the Orlando police station, the Soweto neighborhood where the tragedy took place.

According to witnesses, they fired at random before leaving in a white van, confirmed Elias Mawela, the regional police chief.

An investigation was opened and the scientific police were still on site at midday to collect all possible clues.

Hundreds of neighbors were massed behind the police cordons. The bodies were taken away.

Only a small sign announcing beer prices was visible in front of the establishment. Crying relatives tried to approach, but were picked up by the police.

A relative of one of the Soweto shooting victims cries as police deny her access to the crime scene.

In the township of Sweetwaters, near Pietermaritzburg, the shooting erupted around 8:30 p.m. Saturday in a bar and left four dead and eight injured, local police spokesman Nqobile Gwala confirmed.

People were having drinks at a tavern and a car pulled up in front of the establishment, the lieutenant colonel said in a statement. Two men jumped out of the car, entered the bar and opened fire indiscriminately at customers.

Twelve people were hit by bullets. Two died on the spot and two died in the process at the hospital, he further specified. The dead are between 30 and 45 years old.

According to Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebola, everything happened very quickly. No stealing, no talking or fighting.

“Every week we hear of people being randomly shot. ”

— Mzimkhulu Thebola, Mayor of Sweetwaters

The informal bar, a good twenty kilometers from the center of Pietermaritzburg, is located in a semi-rural area, near #x27;a car wash and a liquor store.

The violent incidents come a year after the worst violence the country has seen since the end of apartheid, initially triggered by the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma, convicted of contempt of court and prosecuted for serious corruption.

In July 2021, these riots, massive looting and destruction of industrial sites, mainly in Johannesburg and the province of Kwazulu-Natal, had left more than 350 dead.

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