After a shooting at a bar in the South Africa township of Soweto on Sunday, at least 15 people were found dead.
According to the officials, the carnage took place after midnight when a group of men with rifles and pistols entered the bar and opened fire at people inside, leaving 15 dead and 8 injured. According to police, the unidentified gunmen fled the area and are currently missing. They added that it was unclear how many people were engaged in the attack.
“It’s a bad scene. When you see the bodies piled up, you can see that every one of those people is struggling to get out of the tavern,” Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela told South African news channel ENCA. Police are yet to identify the men responsible for the shooting and also trying to find out the motive behind the act.
Local media reported, four people were confirmed dead overnight in a shooting in Pietermaritzburg, roughly 500 kilometers southeast of Soweto.
From his office on Sunday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to the families of those killed in both assaults. “As a nation, we cannot allow violent criminals to terrorize us in this way, regardless of where such incidents may occur, Ramaphosa said, “As government, citizens and structures of civil society we must all work together even more closely to improve social and economic conditions in communities, reduce violent crime and stamp out the illicit circulation of firearms.”
“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,” he said.
The South African National Civic Organization in Gauteng has urged the government to reform gun laws in the wake of the massacre. With 20,000 murders per year, South Africa is one of the most violent nations in the world. It also has one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world.