At least 15 people have reportedly died after a mass shooting took place at a bar in the South African township of Soweto on Sunday, reports CNN. Several others were injured during the incident.
The authorities said the suspects are still at large and have called on witnesses to come forward for any information about the fatal incident. Some reports say at least 137 shots were fired during the melee.
"It was such a brutality," Police Minister Bheki Cele said. "These people really came to kill and destroy. We don’t know their motive but I guarantee we will find them."
“It’s a bad scene. When you see the bodies [that] are piled up, you can see that every one of those people [was] struggling to get out of the tavern,” Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela added.
Mawela also said that the police have not determined the motive behind the shooting.
“I have no doubt that with the cooperation of the community here, we will be able to crack this case,” he continued.
According to the report, the authorities said of the 23 people who were shot in the bar, 12 died at the scene and 11 were transported to the nearest hospital. At least two more people were pronounced dead at the hospital.
In an incident reported on Saturday, another mass shooting occurred at a bar in Sweetwaters in Pietermaritzburg.
Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, the Provincial Commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal noted in a statement that at least 12 people were shot after two men entered the tavern and “randomly opened fire.”
Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, offered his condolences to the families who tragically lost their loved ones in the attacks on Saturday and Sunday.
“As a nation, we cannot allow violent criminals to terrorize us in this way, regardless of where such incidents may occur, Ramaphosa said in his statement., “As a 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 added.