Preparations for a funeral turned deadly after two men were shot dead in a suspected gang-related incident in Barberton, Mpumalanga, on Friday morning.
According to the provincial police, the shooting occurred around 8am as a group of people were on their way to dig a grave in preparation for a funeral at Mjindini Trust.
Spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said based on the information they received, a group of about 20 people were headed to the local cemetery to dig a grave as part of preparation for a burial the following day.
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“It is said that before they could reach the graveside, a scuffle broke out where shots were fired. Some of those who were present are said to have ran for cover however when the dust settled, two young men were sadly down,” he said.
Mohlala said one of the victims succumbed to his wounds on the scene of the shooting, and the other died in hospital.
He said one of the victims was 18 years old. The age of the second victim was yet to be established.
“A case with two counts of murder was opened by the police in Barberton, however, no one has been arrested as yet,” Mohlala said.
Police urge anyone with information that may assist in solving the case to call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or alternatively via MYSAPSAPP.
Mohlala said all received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.
He said provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela strongly condemned the reported violence as well as the brutal murder of the two young people.
Gang violence grips SA
Gang-related violence continue to rear its ugly head in the country, with eight people shot dead and two others injured in two separate shootings in Kwanobuhle in the Eastern Cape last week.
Also last week, two men were shot in suspected gang violence in Westbury, Johannesburg.
One succumbed to his injuries on arrival at the hospital, and the other victim survived the shooting with serious injuries.