South Africa-Violence-Ramaphosa

S/Africa: Ramaphosa orders probe into weekend shootings

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered South Africa’s security agencies to immediately apprehend criminals who gunned down 19 people in two separate incidents early Sunday.

Unknown gunmen opened fire in a tavern full of patrons in the Johannesburg township of Soweto in the early hours of Sunday, killing 15 people. 

Some 500 km east of Soweto, another four people were shot dead in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial capital of Pietermaritzburg.

“As a nation, we cannot allow violent criminals to terrorise us in this way regardless of where such incidents may occur,” Ramaphosa said.

He added: “Every single violent death is unacceptable and worrying. And killings on the scale we have seen in Soweto, Pietermaritzburg and previously Khayelitsha (Cape Town ) must spur us into a collective effort to build strong communities and make South Africa an unsafe place for criminals.”

He called on communities and civil society organisations to work with the government “even more closely to improve social and economic conditions in communities, reduce violent crime and stamp out the illicit circulation of firearms.” 

Gauteng Premier David Makhura also called on urgent police action to get to the bottom of the “senseless” Soweto shooting.

“We call on the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned to ensure that the perpetrators are arrested and brought to book. 

“We cannot allow incidents like this where innocent people are killed like animals. This kind of behaviour has no place in this province,” Makhura said. 

NM/jn/APA

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