Home South African South Africans react to Qatar classifying Soweto tavern massacre as ’terrorism’

South Africans react to Qatar classifying Soweto tavern massacre as ’terrorism’


Apart from social media users in South Africa questioning how Soweto was described as a “suburb”, the majority of the respondents took issue with the categorisation as “terrorism”.

At least 15 people died in a shooting at a tavern in Nomzamo informal settlement in Soweto. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

THE STATE of Qatar has added its voice to the numerous entities condemning the cold-blooded killings that took place at a tavern in Soweto on Sunday, which has left at least 15 people dead and several patrons injured.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it “strongly condemned” the incident, which happened shortly after midnight on Sunday.

“The State of Qatar expresses its strong condemnation and denunciation of the shooting incident, which took place in the suburb of Soweto in the city of Johannesburg in South Africa and led to deaths and injuries.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirms the State of Qatar’s firm position on the rejection of violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and reasons,” the statement added.

“The Ministry expresses the State of Qatar’s condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of South Africa.”

However, apart from a number of social media users in South Africa who questioned how Soweto was described as a “suburb”, the Qatar statement sparked some consternation online, with the majority of respondents taking issue with the categorisation of the incident as a terror attack.

One user, Sanele Dlamini, responded: “This is weird to even call what happened a terrorism act, when we as a country haven’t gotten to that conclusion”.

Keegan Moodley reacted: “This statement is very strange. And the 2nd paragraph?”

Siya Ngxabazi said: “Terrorism niyithathaphi?” (Where did you get terrorism?)

Nobuzwe Ncwana simply wrote: Ningenaphi (Where do you come in)

Another user, Zethu, wrote: “How did you reach the conclusion about terrorism? Do you perhaps know something we don’t?”

The spate of murders at South African taverns has had international media coverage over the weekend.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa sent condolences to the affected families after two separate mass shootings on Saturday and Sunday, which claimed the lives of at least 19 people in Soweto and Pietermaritzburg.

Masked gunmen firing pistols at random burst into a crowded tavern in Soweto, slaying at least 15 people between the ages of 19 and 35, authorities confirmed.

In the suburb of Sweetwaters in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, assailants opened fire with a shotgun, killing four people and wounding eight others, also in a tavern.

“As a nation, we cannot allow violent criminals to terrorise us in this way, regardless of where such incidents may occur,” Ramaphosa said.

“As government, citizens and structures of civil society, we must all work together even more closely to improve social and economic conditions in communities, reduce violent crime and stamp out the illicit circulation of firearms.”

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