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Cape Town -
Shocked relatives were on Sunday trying to make sense of an attack on a tavern in Philippi where three people were shot dead on Saturday night.
A gang went to Abesuthu Tavern in Lower Crossroads and shot six people, three of them fatally, just before closing time around 11.30pm.
Police said the gang of six ordered the security guards to open the gate.
In the tavern there was an argument and they started shooting randomly at the patrons, said provincial police spokesman FC van Wyk.
Burundian Lemba Jean, 30, was found in a neighbour’s yard. He had four bullet wounds in the back. The second victim, Siyabulela Thumana, 30, was found inside the tavern and the third, Mcedisi Apile, died on the way to hospital. Three others were wounded in the legs.
One of them, Thabo Sifo, spoke to the Cape Argus from Groote Schuur Hospital. He said he had been sitting at the same table as Thumana, when the shooting started for no reason.
“I had my back to the door so I couldn’t see people entering the tavern and I just heard shots coming our way and went to the ground,” said Sifo. He was wounded in the leg.
Thumana’s aunt said the gang had targeted her nephew. “We were told that at the security gate, those men said they were looking for certain people and that they headed straight to the where my nephew was sitting,” she said, adding that the family was shocked to hear of the killing because Thumana was a calm and entertaining man.
“He was like my only son and he treated me like I was his biological mother.”
Thumana’s girlfriend of eight years, Nandipha Dyaduma, said she felt sorry for her one-year-old son who would grow up without a father.
“He didn’t work, but always liked playing outside with our son,” she added, saying that the last time she saw him was at another tavern in their street at around 6pm.
Residents who live close to the tavern said they were shocked to hear the gunshots.
Bonginkosi Nyathi said he was awoken in the middle of the night by the shots. “It’s the first time that something like that has happened and people say it was a targeted shooting.”
By Sunday night no arrests had been made and police were still searching for the suspects.