South Africa, Cape Town – The killing of five people near the Nyanga taxi rank brought the total number of taxi-related murders in the Western Cape to 92 since the start of the calendar year, with attempted murders and injuries at 51 over the same period.
It occurred hours after police arrested a suspected shooter in the Cape Town station deck taxi rank shooting where seven people including a wheelchair-bound woman were wounded. A second suspect has since been arrested.
Seven people were sitting in a taxi when the gunmen approached and fired numerous shots at four men aged between 30 and 36 who died on the scene in Nyanga. The fifth person died in hospital while the two others were in the hospital.
Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said police have bolstered deployments at potential hot spots in response to the shootings.
“Reports from the scene reveal that seven individuals were sitting in a taxi in Sihlanu Avenue, near the Nyanga terminus, when the gunmen approached and fired numerous shots at approximately 21.30. Four men between the ages of 30 and 36 died on the scene. Three others were taken to a medical facility after sustaining a serious injury. A fifth victim died in hospital. Two other victims who sustained injury remain in hospital.
“The team of investigators is hard at work pursuing specific leads. The motive for the incident is believed to be taxi-conflict related. Investigators have opened murder and attempted murder cases,” said Potelwa.
Madikizela said he called an urgent meeting with the leaders of the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) and the SA National Taxi Council’s (Santaco) Western Cape
Branch to express his concerns over their inability or unwillingness to stop the senseless violence.
“I will also be meeting senior officials from enforcement authorities including the SAPS, Metro Police and Traffic, as well as regulatory authorities, the Provincial Taxi Registrar and the provincial regulatory entity, to plan a co-ordinated, inter-governmental response to the violence and other crimes associated with the minibus taxi industry,” he said.
While Codeta spokesperson Besuthu Ndungane declined to comment, Cata secretary Mandla Hermanus said the association was shocked at the brutal shootings and hoped the police would pursue every possible lead to bring the perpetrators to book.
“We don’t know if the two incidents are linked (with the Cape Town station deck shooting).
“The drivers belong to the Bellville Taxi Association, with no links to operations at the Cape Town station deck. We do not want to speculate on the cause of the killings,” Hermanus said.