The police in Gauteng have launched a manhunt for the suspects who shot and killed five people in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
The shootings happened at different places on Thursday evening.
In a statement, the police’s provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela said it is alleged that about four armed suspects went on to rob and shoot people in the area.
“It is reported that the suspects first met people travelling in a Toyota Etios on Fourth Avenue and Selborne Street, and fired shots at them. One person was injured.
“The second incident occurred at Eleventh Avenue and Boulevard Street, where the suspects found two people sitting in a car charging cell phones as there was no electricity in the area, due to load shedding,” said Mawela.
The suspects are also believed to have robbed the victims of their cell phones before shooting them.
Mawela said the suspects came across the next victim at Boulevard Street, where he was fatally shot.
The next victim was shot at Seventh Avenue, where he died on the scene. Two other people were robbed of their cell phones and shoes.
“The suspects met and shot three people at Sixth Avenue. One person was fatally wounded while two victims were taken for medical treatment.
The police have opened five cases of murder, five of attempted murder and armed robberies.
Mawela strongly condemned the random shootings and has already assembled a team, comprising of different units of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other law enforcement agencies, to search for the suspects.
One person was arrested after he was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition in Alexandra.
“The suspect is still being profiled to establish if he is linked to the shootings. The firearm will be taken for ballistic test to determine if it was used in the commission of crime.
“We are concerned about the proliferation of firearms in Alexandra and operations to recover such weapons are continuing,” Mawela added.
Meanwhile, a number of well-known people visited the township on Friday. Among them, were Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, accompanied by Gauteng Premier, David Makhura.
Makhura said they were not just reacting to the tragedy, but were also beginning to act proactively hence the deployment of more police officers.
Nhlanhla Lux from Operation Dudula was also spotted.