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News: Police Ministry assures the nation tavern mass shootings won’t go unpunished

Media Statement from the Office of the Minister of Police


GAUTENG - The arrest of two people in connection to the deadly tavern shooting in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, is a first step of bringing to book all those who orchestrated one of the country's bloodiest weekends. This is the assurance the Police Ministry is giving to the nation following a briefing on the tavern mass shootings in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

Police Minister, General Bheki Cele, and his deputy, Cassel Mathale, along with the senior management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) led by National Commissioner General Fannie Masemola on Monday, 11 July 2022, received a full report on the mass shootings that took place in Soweto and Katlehong in Ekurhuleni. In the Nomzamo Informal settlement in Orlando East, Soweto, 15 people were killed in a tavern when five gunmen gained entry into the establishment in the early hours of Sunday morning and shot at the unsuspecting patrons.

A total of 23 people were shot inside the Mdlalose tavern in Orlando East, 12 people were killed on the scene, three more people died in hospital and eight wounded patrons are still recovering in surgical wards in nearby hospitals. Police management have tasked an 11 member detective team to investigate the murders and maximum resources have been activated to find and apprehend the five suspects.

Following his visit to the Soweto crime scene, Minister Cele says the attacks on the taverns in the two provinces were more coincidental than coordinated.

"In Soweto, police investigators picked up over 140 empty cartridges from high calibre weapons at the scene, it was a brutal war in there and quite clear that these murderers wanted to kill as many people as possible. Police are working around the clock and all resources and personnel are out in full force to find these criminals and piece together the motives behind these senseless killings. Wherever these men are, they must know: we will not back down, we will not rest."

While no arrests have been yet made for the tavern shooting in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg, where two people were killed over the weekend, the Police Ministry has welcomed the arrest of two suspects believed to be linked to the Pietermaritzburg tavern shooting that took place on 9 July 2022.

According to police reports two men entered the Sweetwaters tavern and randomly opened fire on the patrons resulting in at least 12 people being shot.

Four people aged between 30 and 45 were killed and eight people are recovering in hospital.

Back in Soweto, a community engagement with residents of Nomzamo settlement in Orlando East led by the Police Ministry on Monday 11 July 2022, saw community members call for immediate interventions on their crime concerns.

Responding to the needs of the community, members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) members have been deployed to the area to assist with policing.

An additional fleet of vehicles has also been directed to the Orlando policing precinct to expand the SAPS footprint and support crime combating and prevention operations.

Police visibility will also be heightened through disruptive police operations that are aimed at rooting out criminality and tackling the high prevalence of illegal firearms in the area.

The Ministry continues to call for community policing partnerships and encourages residents to come forward with valuable information, that assists police investigations and deal decisively with crime.


Lirandzu Themba
082 604 9080


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