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16 people were killed in a mass shooting in a tavern in Orlando East, Soweto over the weekend. An increase in mass shootings in the country has called into question SA's gun laws and access to illegal weapons.
16 people were killed in a mass shooting in a tavern in Orlando East, Soweto over the weekend. An increase in mass shootings in the country has called into question SA's gun laws and access to illegal weapons.
  • In a shooting attack late on Saturday night, 16 people were killed in a tavern in Orlando East, Soweto.
  • A gunman wielding an AK-47 assault rifle entered the tavern and "sprayed" patrons with bullets.
  • The attack calls into question the country's gun laws and the number of illegal weapons circulating in criminal networks.

A brutal mass shooting at a tavern in Soweto last week bought South Africa's gun laws and the issue of illegal weapons into the spotlight.

A total of 16 people were killed in the shooting in Orlando East, Soweto.

In a separate incident in Pietermaritzburg, just a few hours before the Soweto attack, four people were shot dead in a tavern.

There also seems to be an increase in mass shootings in the Western Cape this year.

News24 reported in June that at least 22 people had been shot in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, in mass shooting incidents this year.

This week, on The Story, we talk to News24 reporter Ntwaagae Seleka, who was on the scene at the Mdlalose Tavern in Nomzamo Park, Soweto, covering the aftermath of the brutal shooting that took place at the weekend.

READ | 130 AK-47 spent cartridges collected at Soweto tavern, Cele says

According to Seleka, residents were visibly shocked and angry, demanding answers from the police.

Community members said the police's deployment of the Tactical Response Team to search door-to-door for illegal weapons in the community was too late.

We also hear from the senior researcher at the Dullah Omar Institute at the University of the Western Cape, Dr Jean Redpath, who discusses South Africa's "strict" gun laws and suggests what could be behind the increase in gun violence in recent years.

She said it was highly likely that the weapons used in the Soweto tavern shooting were illegal.

"If it is illegal weapons that are being used, then it is a question of enforcement; it's a question of properly tracking and finding the illegal weapons, rather than changing the legislation (around owning guns)," said Redpath.

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