Gauteng police defend deployment in wake of NYE shootings

Two people were killed and six wounded in a shooting incident in Melville while 11 people were wounded in Mary Fitzgerald Square when a gunman opened fire from the M1 bridge.

Emergency services on scene after a fatal drive-by shooting in Melville in the early hours of 1 January 2020. Picture: Twitter/@EMER_G_MED

JOHANNESBURG - The police have denied accusations that there weren't sufficient numbers of officers on the ground on New Year's Eve.

A man, sitting in a car, opened fire on patrons at the Poppy's restaurant in Melville in the early hours of on Wednesday morning.

The police have clarified that two people were killed and six wounded.

And in a second incident, 11 people were wounded in Mary Fitzgerald Square when a gunman opened fire from the M1 bridge.

Police spokesperson Mathapelo Peters: "Our deployment in terms of our festive season operational plan is, firstly, intelligence-based and also on the crime pattern that is prevalent over this period, so it is not true that we have not deployed."

She said that their numbers were boosted this year.

"We also received over 1,000 newly-trained constables, so we were out there in numbers and also because of our approach of integration of resources, we worked together with the metro police, we worked together with Gauteng traffic, so we were all over Gauteng. It is really unfortunate that these tragedies happened."

Peters added that the police hoped to make an arrest soon in connection with the shooting.

"We believe that with what we have, there is positive progress with making an arrest. We are optimistic that our investigators will be able to come up with something positive in a short space of time."

She said that they had leads.

"We've been fortunate in the sense that there were a number of cameras around, so we've been able to collect CCTV footage as part of our evidence and we've also spoken to a number of witnesses who were in the area."