Three people shot dead at welcoming ceremony for initiate

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Three people were shot in Cape Town over the weekend.
Three people were shot in Cape Town over the weekend.
Photo: Archive/André Damons
  • A welcoming ceremony for an initiate in Cape Town turned deadly over the weekend when three people were shot dead.
  • No arrests have been made.
  • Police have appealed to the public for more information.

Three people were shot dead in Gugulethu, Cape Town on Saturday at a ceremony held to welcome a man's return from an initiation school.

Western Cape police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said the incident happened just after 22:00.

"Two of the victims are aged 38 and 40, while the third victim's age is still unknown. A fourth victim was shot and wounded and admitted to the hospital for treatment. The circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation and arrests are yet to be made," Traut added.

Gugulethu Development Forum chairperson Vincent Domingo told News24: "It is with great shock that we condemn this insane invasion of the celebration that took place. From what I understand, the man and his family were not hurt in any way during the shooting but are beyond traumatised that this occurred."

"There was a group of young people who had been part of the celebrations but were seated at another house when suddenly a group of strangers appeared and started firing shots at the young people. It is unclear why they targeted this group specifically but rumours circulating point... to... recent extortion happening in the township," Domingo added. 

According to the forum, the extortion is linked to shops that are owned by Somalians fighting over money and business.

Domingo said:

During the course of last year, extortion killings dropped a little bit so we were very surprised to hear that this was possibly the reason behind the mass killing over the weekend.

"We never thought that this young man coming back would result in such a sad occasion. It's a shock to the community that heartless people can go to that level of killing during our cultural processes. It is unacceptable and the dignity of this young man and his family has been stripped away by this horrendous incident."

"We're calling on the police to intervene so these killings at cultural events do not become the norm."

According to the forum, the family has declined to speak to the media about the incident.

The police would not speculate on the motive for the killings.

Anyone who has information on the case can contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or use the My SAPS app.

Information will be treated confidentially.

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