Gauteng police detectives have released the names and photos of the five alleged Soweto tavern killers who are said to be foreigners from one of our neighbouring countries.
The suspects, who are on the run and possibly outside the country, are wanted for the murder of 16 revellers of the KwaMdlalose tavern in Nomzamo, Orlando East after they reportedly opened fire on a group of tavern patrons in the early hours of Sunday, July 10, 2022. The motive for the mass shooting is still not known.
A group of armed men entered a tavern at Nomzamo, Orlando East, and started shooting randomly on July 10. Seven people were also wounded.
The suspects were identified as Sarel Lehlanya Sello, Tshepiso Elliot Radebe, Thabang Radikatara, Tshidiso Moleko and Keletso Rabasotho, said police spokesperson Col Dimakatso Sello.
“A warrant of arrest had been issued for the five men; Sarel Lehlanya Sello, Tshepiso Elliot Radebe, Thabang Radikatara, Tshidiso Moleko and Keletso Rabasotho on 16 cases of murder and 7 of attempted murder.”
“Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of these suspects is requested to contact Colonel Friccah Masilela on 082 822 7270 and Sergeant Ndlovu on 065 962 4329. Anonymous tip-offs can also be reported on MySaps application or the Crime Stop Line on 08600 10111. All information received will be treated with strictest confidence.”
According to previous media reports, two weeks after 21 young people died at the Enyobeni tavern in East London, 21 patrons at three other taverns were shot dead in July.
Fifteen people were killed in Emazulwini Tavern in Nomzamo informal settlement in Orlando East, Soweto, after gunmen opened fire on revellers in the early hours of the morning.
On the same weekend, two people were killed in a shooting in a tavern in Katlehong, 40km southeast of Johannesburg.
Four people were killed when two men opened fire on people in Mntambo Tavern in Sweetwaters, a periurban area near Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Twelve patrons were shot, with eight admitted to hospital in critical condition.
Last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura confirmed that the suspects had been traced to Lesotho after they escaped to the country following the mass shooting that sent shock waves across the country. Makhura said the SAPS was in talks with Interpol and officials in the SADC to track and trace the suspects.
The suspects are facing 16 cases of murder and seven of attempted murder.
At the time, Police Minister Bheki Cele said more than 137 cartridges were recovered from the scene of the shooting with the use of an AK47 confirmed by the police as being central in the shooting. The minister further stated that the suspects were travelling in a white minibus (Quantum).
Last week it was reported that detectives had traced the alleged killers to Lesotho, where they narrowly missed arresting them in a failed clandestine operation at the Maseru border post.
The massacre is allegedly linked to a feud between two rival Lesotho gangs, Terene ea Chakela (Chakela’s train) and Terene ea Khosi Mokata (Mokata’s train).