By Sapa, Giyani Baloyi and Kristen van Schie
Johannesburg - Two men were killed in two separate incidents in Gauteng on New Year’s Eve, with another person killed in a car accident.
In Soweto, a man was shot and another injured shortly after midnight when a VW Golf approached a group of people and the occupants opened fire.
The group had been lighting fireworks at the time.
Police said the car didn’t have number plates and sped off.
A case of murder and attempted murder was opened.
In the Combizza informal settlement near Daveyton, another man was stabbed to death soon after midnight after an argument broke out between two groups of men.
The victim, who was in his twenties, ran away after being stabbed, but then collapsed and died. The assailant is on the run.
Meanwhile, one person died in a car accident late on New Year’s Eve when a bakkie overturned on the M2 West.
It was one of 11 car accidents across the province that night, said Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokeswoman Nana Radebe.
She said there were also 36 incidents in which cars hit pedestrians – high compared with previous years – but that none of these resulted in fatalities.
In Hillbrow, an EMS ambulance was stoned by residents as it moved through the area as part of a joint operation with the SAPS and metro police. The operation targeted a series of hijacked buildings in the area, which has a history of violent New Year celebrations.
In one building, police confiscated pirated CDs and DVDs and also detained a man found in possession of cocaine.
And, while bottles were flung at a police Nyala in which reporters were travelling, there were no flying fridges to report, as has occurred in previous years.
The fireworks ceased by about 1.30am.
According to Radebe, 19 patients were treated for assault-related injuries during the operation.
Nurses at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital had their hands full, with the trauma unit packed throughout the day.
The unit treated about 19 seriously injured patients, involved in incidents ranging from drunken assaults to car accidents.
On Wednesday afternoon, nurses were waiting for plastic surgery specialists to treat some of the worst cases.
Five adults and three children were treated for wounds related to fireworks.