‘Investigation continues’: Police looking for farm owner after gun linked to Melville shooting recovered
The South African Police Service have been on a manhunt to trace the owner of the Kliprivier farm.
A general view of people at the church service to honour victims of the Melville shooting at Poppy’s Restaurant on 5 January 2020 in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images/Beeld/Felix Dlangamandla
Police are still investigating the New Year’s Eve drive-by shooting in Melville, Johannesburg three years after the incident occurred.
The owner of a farm in Kliprivier, where a firearm used in the shooting was found buried in a shallow grave in 2020, has been identified.
According to South African Police Service (Saps) national spokesperson Athlenda Mathe, the gun was positively linked to the shooting through ballistics testing.
“Police have since been on a manhunt to trace and track down the owner of the farm. The owner of the farm is known to police and he is urged to hand himself over as the investigation continues.
“Police will not comment further on this matter as this is an ongoing investigation,” Mathe told SABC News.
The Melville shooting left two women – Liana Peterson, 41, and Samantha Daniels-Basdew, 27, – dead and several others were wounded.
At the time, another shooting that took place at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown just hours later and left 11 injured.
South African actor, Mortimer Williams was one of the victims of the shooting.
Williams, who has starred in a number of local shows, including Erfsondes, Skeem Saam, Isidingo and 7de Laan, had been performing a New Year’s Eve show at Poppy’s and was exchanging well wishes with friends he had spotted from across the room, when they came under fire.
The actor told The Citizen in 2020 that he was shot in the kidney and suffered a bullet graze to his hip.
Video footage captured the moments a black BMW SUV drove past Poppy’s restaurant and opened fire on its patrons.
To date, no arrests have been made in connection to the Melville shooting.
Police had previously arrested five people in Kliprivier in July 2020 and were linked to an international kidnapping and extremism syndicate.
During their arrest, the black BMW SUV was also found as well as firearms, which has now been linked to the Melville shooting.