Criminals are ‘grooving among us, gangsters, gamblers’, says witness at scene.
Taverns were in the spotlight again for all the wrong reasons after another tavern shooting in Mamelodi left one person dead. A security guard working at the tavern across the road from where the fatal shooting happened early on Tuesday morning agreed to speak anonymously for fear of being targeted.
This follows three other tavern shootings over the past five days, in Soweto, Katlehong and Pietermaritzburg.
“We are used to people drinking and grooving, but this was the first time something like this happened,” he said.
“The young laaities like to fight, I am an old man, I don’t get involved with the child’s play, I am not scared. But if they start, I run away,” he said.
Minister of Police Bheki Cele said during an interview on Radio 702 that the Mamelodi shooting, at Monaco Tavern, was a targeted shooting. “Three armed men went in hunting one,” he said.
Cele did not elaborate about the police’s tactical response team (TRT) deployed to Soweto and whether it would be searching shebeens.
“There are too many shebeens. Orange Farm has 331 and Orlando 257 shebeens,” he said.
Cele added many prevented crimes didn’t make it into the media.
The street in Mamelodi where Tuesday’s shooting happened had been barricaded off for the event, where the DJ Lamiez performed on Sunday evening.
Kgothatso Manana, who has a stall across the road, said he was still dancing when he heard the first bang of a shooting.
“We came to see the show and we were having fun and drinking beer and grooving when someone got shot,” he said.
“I heard three shots. When I heard the first gunshot, I knew something was happening, so we ran home to hide,” he said.
He said other partygoers took cover and hid in the shops and cars. Manana said he saw the videos of the shooting on YouTube afterwards.
“This place is not safe at all. Especially over weekends,” he said.
Manana said some partygoers like to stab each other when they groove at the taverns.
Kenny Dlamini was also at the event during the shooting.
“It was so bad,” he said.
“We were dancing when I heard the first shot – bang. The first shot was fired up into the sky – bang – and then the second one went to the head – bang, bang,” he said.
Dlamini said he didn’t visit the tavern often and only attended for the line-up.
“The problem is the criminals are grooving with us. There are gangsters and the ‘madice’ people who gamble. When they are angry, they pull out their guns and shoot each other,” he said.