Sunday, authorities reported that shooters killed 19 people in two random killings at bars in South Africa, reaffirming the country's grim reputation as a global murder capital.
In the early hours of Sunday, shooters armed with rifles and handguns opened fire in the Soweto pub Orlando East, killing 15 people and wounding nine, according to police.
According to Elias Mawela, police commissioner for the province of Gauteng, based on the manner the bullet cartridges were strewn about, the perpetrators fired randomly.
Sololo Mjoli's sons, Sthembiso, 34, and Luyanda, 18, were slain in the attack at the bar in one of the poorer areas of Soweto, which consisted primarily of metal sheet shacks.
"I'm so heartbroken," the 59-year-old gardener exclaimed, adding that Sthemibiso's girlfriend had arrived immediately after the shooting to find him still alive.
"He was subsequently rushed to the hospital, where he died."
Thobani Mhlabiso, a bartender, said he hid behind the refrigerator to survive the attack.
He stated that there was blood everywhere.
Four individuals were killed, and eight others were injured in a random shooting in a bar in Pietermaritzburg, 500 kilometers southeast of Soweto, hours earlier.
Officers stated they did not feel a connection between the two shootings. According to authorities, the perpetrators of both shootings are on the run. It is unclear how many attackers were involved in either shooting.
South Africa, a country of over 60 million people, has one of the world's highest per capita murder rates, with 20,000 people murdered annually.
According to Gun Free South Africa, over 3 million firearms are registered in the country, while it is believed that many more are circulating on the black market.
At the scene of the shooting in Soweto, in the suburbs of Johannesburg, people gathered outside the police cordon while officers examined the area for clues; one officer was carrying zip-locked bags containing expended bullet cartridges.
Soweto is the largest black township in South Africa. They were the products of white minority rule, which ended in 1994, but whose legacy of pervasive poverty, youth unemployment, and violence endures nearly thirty years later.
Thursday night, Gauteng police commissioner Mawela told Reuters that a third shooting during a suspected robbery in a pub in Katlehong, also outside of Johannesburg, resulted in the death of two individuals and the injury of two others.