The incident unfolded just after midnight when a group armed with rifles and 9-millimeter pistols entered a bar in the Nomsamo informal settlement near Johannesburg and started shooting “randomly” at patrons, Gauteng police said in a statement.
Police said 23 people were shot at the establishment – 12 died on the spot and 11 were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries. Two others were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police have started investigations into 14 cases of murder and nine cases of attempted murder.
“It’s a bad scene. When you see the bodies [that] It’s piled up and you can see every single one of those people [was] I am struggling to get out of the restaurant,” Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela told South African news channel ENCA.
Mawela said the police were yet to determine the details of why the diners were targeted or attacked.
Mawela added that with the cooperation of the community here, I have no doubt that this case can be cracked.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward, saying the suspects are still on the run.
Four more people were killed in a shooting at a bar in Sweetwaters, Pietermaritzburg on Saturday evening, police said on Sunday.
KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Nahlanla Makwanazi said in a statement that at least 12 people were shot dead when two men entered the bar and “randomly opened fire”. As with the Soweto shooting, police said the suspects are still at large and a manhunt is underway.