Home South African Beef up law enforcement, police visibility around thriving taverns, says anti-crime activist

Beef up law enforcement, police visibility around thriving taverns, says anti-crime activist

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No one has been arrested yet the gruesome shooting at the Soweto tavern, but the police in Gauteng believe they will eventually arrest the perpetrators.

Forensic pathology officials at the scene of a mass shooting at a tavern in Soweto on the weekend. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

OUTSPOKEN anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee has appealed for heightened police presence in areas where taverns are thriving, following the recent spate of mass-shootings at businesses selling alcohol.

“These shootings are of real concern. We have seen at least three incidents in Pietermaritzburg, Soweto and Mamelodi. Rumour has it that the shootings are linked to extortion and that is a worry,” Abramjee said.

“In terms of police visibility, I believe they are not pro-active, they do not control the crowds, they do not patrol enough but also the other worrying element is the easy availability of weapons and how brazen these criminals are.

“In Soweto for example, 130 rounds of AK-47 were used and that is of concern.”

He said the police should urgently beef up operations against the proliferation of illegal firearms.

“They need to get to the motives of these shootings and I think police visibility at taverns and other hot spots needs to be beefed up,” said Abramjee.

Forensic pathology officials loading a body into a vehicle following the mass shooting at a tavern in Soweto. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

The death toll in relation to the weekend shooting incident at Nomzamo informal settlement in Soweto has risen to 16, after one more victim was confirmed dead in hospital on Tuesday.

No one has been arrested for the gruesome shooting, but the police in Gauteng said a team of investigators, working with the Crime Intelligence unit, are on the ground to establish the motive “and eventually arrest the perpetrators involved in this shooting”.

The Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said it has been conducting Operation Nightlife, in conjunction with other agencies including the SAPS, the Emergency Management Services and Environmental Health.

“Operation Nightlife is an integrated effort to reduce crime and focused on those contravening the City’s by-laws at night and aims to ensure compliance by places of entertainment like bars, pubs, taverns and liquor outlets,” JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla told IOL.

“Emergency Management Services and Environmental Health inspect and check compliance of City by-laws from these places of entertainment.

“Law enforcement will then check if these establishments have the correct liquor trading licences and proper documentation.”

Fihla said establishments that are found “wanting are either shut down or the owner and manager are fined for contravening the City’s by-laws”.

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