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WATCH | Mother of Soweto tavern survivor speaks of bodies behind gate in horrific murder scene

Son is in hospital recovering from seven bullet wounds

14 July 2022 - 16:39 By TIMESLIVE VIDEO

When Nobuhle Dlamini* heard her son might have been injured in a shooting at Mdlalose's Tavern in Soweto, she could not have imagined the scene she would encounter when she arrived there. 

When the large grey gate at the side of the building was opened, she was confronted by a pile of bodies lying on the ground. The area near the gate had big puddles of blood, suggesting that several people had been shot there as they attempted to flee attackers who had entered through the main entrance.

Earlier this week, police minister Bheki Cele told the community that 137 AK-47 rounds had been found near the tavern, indicating that the assailants had reloaded their weapons. AK-47 magazines hold 30 bullets at a time, Cele said. 

“That was the first time I have ever seen such a tragedy and it will be probably the last. When they opened the gate at the tavern, what we saw was dead bodies which meant that some people were leaning towards the gate before they died,” the mother said. 

“I am scared and hurt. I am pained by what happened to my son. I don't know if he will die or live. Since this tragedy I am not at peace,” Dlamini said. 

Dlamini, whose name has been changed to help conceal her identity, is the mother of a 20-year-old Damelin student who is in hospital. 

The young man was shot seven times, including three times in the back. He and his mother are worried he won't be able to walk again. 

“The people who did this left us with so much pain that won't go away any time soon,” Dlamini said. 

Soweto residents are expected to hold a memorial service on Thursday evening outside the tavern.

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