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Emotional memorial held for 16 killed in Soweto tavern shooting

A family member speaks whilst holding a framed photo of a deceased brother in law during a memorial service for the 16 victims of the Nomzamo tavern attack, July 14, 2022.   -  
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Themba Hadebe/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

South Africa

The sadness of the bereaved South African families was palpable. In Soweto, Thursday, they had gathered for the memorial service for the 16 people killed in a mass shooting over the weekend.

Under the marquee erected meters away from the Tavern where the incident occurred, the grieving relatives called for justice.

"How many more lives are we supposed to lose? This is my brother, he had children and a wife. His family has no one else to rely one. Our plea to the government is that those who are responsible for the shooting should be found before we hold our brother's funeral."

The Policie minister said Monday a manhunt had been launched for five suspects in the Soweto shooting. Speaking to the bereaved families, Ruby Mathang, an ANC member vowed the government had heeded their pleas: "The leadership that is here has heard all what you've said. They've heard your pain. They need to make sure that those who are involved in this shooting must be punished, they must be punished."

To avoid a repeat of the tragedy and stop the rampant crime wave sweeping South Africa, activists have urged the government to reduce gun availability.

The 2019/2020 police crime statistics reports over 7,000 gun murders.

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