It appears that the perpetrators of the Newton shooting which left eleven injured benefitted from the part of the M2 bridge in Newtown they fired shots from being unmanned by metro and traffic police officers.
Gauteng MEC for community safety Faith Mazibuko told the Sunday Times she will ask for explanations from the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and the Gauteng traffic police as to why areas of the M2 bridge which were meant to be manned by police officers were left unattended.
“They were supposed to man that part of the highway … people will really have to account as to why they left their posts,” Mazibuko said.
JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minaar told the Sunday Times he could not comment as an investigation was ongoing, but added that despite Gauteng’s government indicating that the shooter was on the bridge, that the investigation still needed to conclusively show “if the person was in the crowd or on the bridge”.
Early on New Year’s morning, just two hours after a shooting incident in which two people were killed in Melville, Johannesburg, another eleven people were wounded in a separate shooting incident at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.
The incident occurred at 3am on New Year’s Day.
“Preliminary investigations on the Mary Fitzgerald Square incident reveal that the shooter fired several shots from the upper level of M2 (southbound) double-decker bridge and targeted the VIP area,” the Gauteng government said in a statement.
No arrests have been made.
All but one of the 11 injured have been discharged from hospital. The remaining patient is in a critical condition as he was shot in the head.
The incident followed after two women were killed during an alleged drive-by shooting outside a Melville restaurant at 1am. Six people were injured in the New Year’s Day tragedy.
“I have all the trust in our police that the perpetrators will be brought to book. We are determined as the province to half crime by 2030, this incident will not deter us in achieving this vision,” said acting Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Lesufi asked that police be allowed to do their job and requested that those with information come forward.