South Africa


Another 10 people gunned down on Saturday

Another 10 people gunned down on Saturday
Light from a police van shines on one of the bodies while a small group of women gathered behind the yellow police tape. Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

More mass murders in Johannesburg and Cape Town on Saturday night have sparked intense speculation about the dramatic surge in violence across the country in recent days.

At the scene of a shooting in Lenasia in Johannesburg, in which five people died in Thembelihle informal settlement, Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela described it as “another horrific, horrendous crime scene”.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Weekend eruption of tavern massacres shocks South Africa to the core

Forensics investigators after marking the scene where spent bullet casings were found (not in frame). Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

A policeman stands besides an emergency services vehicle. Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

A small crowd gathered while yellow cones mark the scene where spent bullet casings were found. Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

The police identified four bodies. Another two people were injured and taken to hospital. The incident happened at about 7.30pm.

“These people, they were sitting around the fire and then they were attacked from that point,” said Mawela. “Two died there at the corner, another person died down by the street.

“The fourth body, we are told it is in another block. We don’t know how did it happen – whether that person was part of this group, or he was found by those assailants when they were moving away from the crime scene.”

In a media release on Sunday 17 July, the office of the provincial commissioner of police in Gauteng said people in the group were playing dice on a street corner in Thembelihle when they were attacked. The assailants remain unknown.

In an apparently separate incident in Thembelihle, a 36-year-old man was robbed of his belongings, including a cellphone and bicycle, and shot dead. 

“Five cases of murder and two of attempted murder have been opened for investigation,” said the commissioner’s office.

Forensics investigators and a paramedic performing a declaration of death on two of the bodies (partially in frame). Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

A forensics investigator (R) marks the scene where bullet casings were found. Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Forensics investigators work around two bodies (not in frame). Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Members of the Tactical Response Team as seen after the shooting. Lenasia, Johannesburg, 16 July 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Police stand in an area where a body was found in the Tembelihle Informal Settlement. Police reports suggest a group of men were playing dice on a street corner when they were shot at by a group of men. Lenasia, Johannesburg, 2022. 16 July 2022. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Two days earlier, on Thursday 14 July, five people were fatally shot and five injured at different places in Alexandra township in Johannesburg.

The shootings were allegedly committed by four armed suspects who travelled through the area, robbing and shooting people.

The office of the Gauteng provincial commissioner confirmed it had opened five cases of murder and five cases of attempted murder, as well as cases of armed robbery related to the Alexandra incident.

Khayelitsha killings

Western Cape police are investigating the murder of three men – aged 34, 36 and 50 – in Khayelitsha on Saturday night. The incident took place at about 8.30pm on the corner of Nyebelele and Ntango Streets in Site C, according to the office of the provincial commissioner.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Khayelitsha community says ‘black lives don’t matter’ after 86 die in 36 mass shootings in one year

“At this stage, it is not yet clear what led to the attack on the victims,” said a police press release.

In an apparently separate incident, two men in their 30s were shot and killed in Tutu Avenue, Makhaza, in Harare township at about 9.35pm. They were driving a blue Hyundai sedan when they were attacked by occupants of a white Volkswagen Polo. The suspects fled the scene.

Read in Daily Maverick: “Six killed in two Cape Town gun shootings within 13 hours

One victim died on the scene while the other died later in hospital. According to police, there is reason to believe the latter incident was linked to drug trade in the area. DM/MC


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