President Ramaphosa condemns South Africa gun killings

Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and forensic pathology service inspect the scene of a mass shooting in Soweto, South Africa, on July 10, 2022. /Ihsaan HAFFEJEE / AFP
Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and forensic pathology service inspect the scene of a mass shooting in Soweto, South Africa, on July 10, 2022. /Ihsaan HAFFEJEE / AFP

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has conveyed his condolences to the families of 15 people who were shot dead in a bar in the South African township of Soweto.

According to the Gauteng Provincial Government, gunmen armed with rifles and 9mm pistols stormed the Orlando East tavern in the early hours of Sunday morning and started firing randomly at a group of young revelers.

13 died at the scene while two were pronounced dead in hospital.

Police confirmed a second apparently random shooting hours earlier, at around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, in a tavern in Pietermaritzburg, 500 km southeast of Soweto, which saw four people killed and eight wounded.

Officers said they did not believe the two shootings were linked.

“As government and citizens structures of civil society, we must all work together and even more closely to improve social and economic conditions in communities. Reduce violent crimes and stamp out the illicit circulation of firearms,” said Ramaphosa.

“Every single violent death is unacceptable and unwarranted. And killings on the scale we’ve seen in Soweto, Pietermaritzburg, and previously Khayelisha must spare us into a collective effort to build communities and make SA an unsafe place for criminals,” he added.

The killings have also been condemned by other leaders and groups in the country.

Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) Director Adele Kirsten, while reacting to the shooting, said South Africa has a “gun epidemic.”