Two people were shot dead and three others, including two police officers, were wounded in a shootout after a funeral “after-tears” party took a bad turn at the Marite sports ground near Hazyview, Mpumalanga on Saturday…

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, a group of “lawless individuals” held an after-tears party following a funeral where they partook in activities such as vehicle wheel-spinning and firing gunshots randomly.

When police officers arrived, the group fired shots at them, injuring two. The police then returned fire and shot two of the suspects dead while injuring another.

“One of the two suspects who was fatally wounded, was found to be in possession of an unlicensed firearm. During the commotion, police managed to arrest 11 suspects and recover live ammunition,” Hlathi said.

“Unruly and violent behaviour” condemned

Cases of attempted murder, the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, as well as malicious damage to property were opened, the latter after a police vehicle was damaged. The two officers and the injured suspect were taken to hospital for treatment. The suspect is under police guard.

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Mpumalanga police commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has strongly condemned the “unruly and violent behaviour”. He wished the injured police officers a speedy recovery.

“This country is governed by law and we cannot allow a state of lawlessness to prevail or go unpunished,” said Zuma.

The suspects appeared in the Calcutta Periodical Court on Tuesday.