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Zikalala pays homage to 13 KZN men who were shot dead in Soweto tavern

Mourners at the memorial service of the 13 men who were shot dead inside the Mdlalose tavern in Orlando, Soweto earlier this month by gunmen wielding high calibre weapons. Image: Supplied by KZN Gov.

Mourners at the memorial service of the 13 men who were shot dead inside the Mdlalose tavern in Orlando, Soweto earlier this month by gunmen wielding high calibre weapons. Image: Supplied by KZN Gov.

Published Jul 20, 2022

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala on Wednesday paid homage to the 13 men who were shot dead at Mdlalose tavern in Orlando, Soweto, earlier this month.

Zikalala, together with MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza and members of the uMzimkhulu Local Municipality and Harry Gwala District Municipality attended the event at the Umzimkhulu TVET Campus.

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The 13 victims were aged between 19 and 35. Police said more than 100 AK47 cartridges were found inside the tavern after the attack.

The attack took place on the evening of Saturday, July 9.

“Today we have come to the home of our dearly departed comrades under this veil of sadness and despair to say goodbye to relatives, friends and children of Harry Gwala who perished during the attack on the Mdlalose Tavern in Orlando.

“KwaZulu-Natal and indeed our country simply cannot afford the violence and murders. We must give peace and development a chance.

“We call on the police to ensure that those who took the lives of these young people are apprehended and face the full might of the law. What is however very clear and worrying is that in the Pietermaritzburg case, police were swift to arrest suspects,” Zikalala said.

Mourners in attendance were solemn, as candles were lit to remember the lives of Sithembiso Mjoli, Luyanda Mjoli, Nhlonipho Mbanjwa, Nkosiyezwe Malunga, Thamsanqa Malunga, Sphethuxolo Chiliza, Menzi Nzimande, Mlondi Ndlangisa, Philani Mngonyama, Sibongiseni Jokazi, Sibonelo Ngubane, Njabulo Ndlangisa and Sifiso Sosiba.

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Police Minister Bheki Cele said cops were hot on the heels of the suspects.

“In Soweto, police investigators picked up over 140 empty cartridges from high calibre weapons at the scene, it was a brutal war in there and quite clear these murderers wanted to kill as many people as possible.

“Police are working around the clock and all resources and personnel are out in full force to find these criminals and piece together the motives behind these senseless killings,” said Cele.

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The memorial came shortly after several attacks took place in taverns including the one in Enyobeni in East London, the Eastern Cape, where 21 people died.

On July 9, in the Pietermaritzburg area of Sweetwaters, a mass shooting occurred at the Samukelisiwe tavern.

The Sweetwaters shooting left four dead and eight injured, reports indicate.

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Four suspects accused of the shooting appeared before the Pietermaritzburg court on Wednesday.

IOL

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