Johannesburg, South Africa, Jul 11 (EFE).- Police in South Africa on Monday were searching for five alleged perpetrators of a mass shooting in the Soweto neighborhood of Johannesburg that left 15 people dead.
That shooting on Sunday came hours after another, separate incident in the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg, in which four people died and eight were seriously injured.
The two shootings come just two weeks after a tragedy that occurred at another tavern in the southeastern city of East London, in which 21 teenagers were found dead after a suspected gun attack. Police inquiries into that incident are also ongoing.
At a community gathering in Soweto on the morning after the attack, South Africa’s Minister of Police Bkehi Cele told an emotional crowd that evidence gathered by police showed the assaillants had fired at least 137 rounds from AK-47 assault rifles, calling it an act of “such brutality.”
“We don’t know their motive but I guarantee we will find them,” he told reporters.
A police statement on Sunday night said a group of men had entered the tavern and “started shooting randomly at customers sitting inside.”
In total, 23 people were shot, and 12 were pronounced dead at the scene. Three others died later at a nearby hospital and the rest remain in serious condition.
Police are investigating these events as criminal incidents with no ulterior motives. South Africa suffers from chronic issues of insecurity and high homicide rates.
In a statement on Sunday, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa called on the government, civil society and citizens to work together to improve social and economic conditions in certain communities, to reduce violent crime and crack down on illegal guns.
“As a nation, we cannot allow violent criminals to terrorise us in this way,” he said.
“Every single violent death is unacceptable and worrying, and killings on the scale we have seen in Soweto, Pietermaritzburg and previously Khayelitsha must spur us into a collective effort to build communities and make South Africa an unsafe place for criminals.” EFE