An eyewitness described the horrors of shooting 15 people at a bar in Soweto Township, Johannesburg.
Police are investigating reports that a group of people arrived in the Orlando East Tavern in a taxi shortly after midnight on Sunday before “randomly shooting at patrons inside.”
Three were seriously injured and are being treated at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and another was less seriously injured.
One of the survivors said he was able to escape hiding under a table surrounded by corpses, but his friend, who was playing pool, died.
The survivor, whose clothes and shoes were reported to be bloody, told News24: “I was sitting in the corner with other people. I opened the glass sliding door and saw an AK-47 carrying.
“She is OK. My friends and others at the pool table are scattered for the cover. He fired at them.
“I saw them fall to the ground. It was epidemic. I hid under a table. I had four dead men lying around. I have their blood on me.
“After working the man with the assault rifle. Two other men carrying 9mm pistols joined in and fired repeatedly at people on the floor.
Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner Ilyas Mawela said the number of cartridges found at the scene indicated a group of people were firing on weapons.
He added: “Preliminary investigations show that these people were enjoying themselves here, working at the right time in a licensed inn.
“Suddenly they heard gunshots and people were trying to get out of the inn. At the moment we do not have a complete account of what the motives were and why they targeted these people.
“You can see that a high caliber firearm was used and it was shooting randomly. You can see that each of these people was fighting to get out of the inn. “
Crowds gathered around the police cordon outside the Soweto bar where police maintained a heavy presence Sunday as officers stormed the area for clues.
An officer was seen carrying a zip-locked bag full of bullet cartridges.
Mr Mawla added that the area where the shootings took place was very dark, making it difficult to find anyone who could identify the suspects.
A rifle and a 9mm pistol were used in the attack, National Police spokesman Dimakatso Cello said.
In a separate incident, four people were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at a bar in the coastal town of Sweetwater Township in the coastal city of Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night.
Police said the two men entered the inn and randomly opened fire on the patrons.
Two died on the spot and two more later died at the hospital.
Eight others injured in the incident are being treated at the hospital.
The shootings came just two weeks after the bodies of 21 teenagers were found in an inn in east London.
Authorities have not yet announced the cause of death, but officials say the young men were not shot or trampled.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press