TAXI VIOLENCE: 11 KILLED IN TAXI AMBUSH IN KZNDate: 2018-07-23
On Saturday night, 11 people died when a minibus taxi from Gauteng was ambushed and shot at on the R74 road between Colenso and Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal.
South African police confirmed the death toll on Sunday, adding that four people were seriously injured, while two people survived the attack without sustaining injuries. The incident is being investigated as taxi violence.
"We have dispatched our taxi violence unit to the scene," said police spokesperson, Brigadier Jay Naicker.
It is reported that the taxi carrying the 17 people was travelling back to Gauteng after the passengers attended a funeral at Ematimatolo in KZN when it was ambushed by a group of people.
The attackers emerged from bushes along the side of the road and opened fire on the vehicle and its occupants, who are allegedly from a Gauteng taxi association, who had come to attend the funeral of one of their members.
Various investigators remained on the crime scene throughout the night and into Sunday morning. There were no immediate arrests.
There has been a spate of attacks on taxis in South Africa recently, with police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, condemning the "senseless killing" of rival operators associated with Gauteng's Ivory-Park and Kempton Park taxi associations, with various groups vying for dominance on profitable routes.
Sitole said he has activated a 72-hour action plan that consists of members from specialised units within the police – such as Crime Intelligence, the Hawks, and the Special Task Force – to trace and apprehend those responsible for these killings.