Eastern Cape police have announced that a task team has been established to investigate recent incidents of taxi violence in the Mthatha area.
Five people were shot dead in four separate incidents of taxi violence on Thursday and Friday.
Police said on Saturday that a task team comprising detectives‚ crime intelligence and visible policing members had been established to trace and arrest the suspects involved in the murders.
The most recent incident involved the killing by unknown assailants of a 36-year-old man who was a passenger in a taxi in Riverside near Corhana on the R61 between Lobode and Mthatha on Friday night.
“It is alleged that the taxi ferrying passengers from Mthatha to Gxulu locality in Libode was attacked and a passenger and the taxi conductor rushed to Ngangelizwe clinic where the passenger succumbed to his injuries and the conductor was rushed to hospital in a critical condition‚” said police spokesperson Captain Dineo Koena.
Just an hour before this a 37-year-old taxi owner from Northcrest taxi rank was fatally wounded by unknown gunmen at Maqanyeni village in the Sibangweni Administrative Area. Koena explained that a driver‚ a taxi boss and his wife were attacked while travelling together on the N2 from Durban to Mthatha. She said the taxi boss died at the scene while his wife was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and the driver fled the scene.
At about midday on Friday a 40-year-old taxi driver was slain by unknown gunmen at Riverside near Corhana village on the R61 road between Mthatha and Libode.
“It is alleged that the deceased was ferrying passengers from Ntlaza to Mthatha when he was stopped by a white Toyota Corolla with no registration numbers. Four unknown assailants fired several shots at him killing him instantly. All the passengers and his conductor escaped unhurt‚” said Koena. These incidents follow the shooting of a taxi owner and his driver in Fortgale on Thursday night.
Police are investigating murder and attempted murder cases.
No arrests have been made and anyone with information is urged to contact Captain Xolile Mdepa on 0823198754 or the Crime Stop Line on 0860010111. All information will be treated as confidential.