KwaZulu-Natal acting police commissioner Maj-Gen Bheki Langa has commended police for the arrest of 16 people in connection with taxi violence and the recovery of a number of firearms.
“In this province, we will not tolerate any violence, especially relating to [the] taxi industry, as members of community are normally caught during the exchange of gunfire. We work diligently to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book,” he said on Saturday.
A group of heavily armed men travelling in a Toyota Quantum minibus taxi “stormed” the taxi rank in Brook Street, Durban at about 5pm on Friday, police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said.
They fired multiple gunshots and sped off. Three people were seriously wounded and taken to hospital, but a 56-year-old victim later died.
The suspects fled towards Pinetown, and a police officer from the Pinetown task team spotted the suspects’ vehicle in Chelsea Avenue, New Germany and gave chase.
The suspects opened fire at him and he retaliated. No injuries were sustained and the suspects abandoned their vehicle and ran into a building in Scott Road, Pinetown. The national intervention unit was called in.
A total of 16 suspects were arrested and a total of 17 firearms were seized – nine rifles, a shotgun, and seven pistols.
The suspects would be charged with murder and attempted murder, including shooting at the police officer in Pinetown. They would also be charged with illegal possession of firearms and would appear in court soon.
“The case will be assigned to the provincial task team for further investigation. The firearms will be subjected to ballistic testing to ascertain if they were used in any other pending cases,” Mbhele said.
– African News Agency (ANA)