A spate of violence linked to the taxi industry has rocked Centurion, as police in Gauteng battle to restore law and order on Tuesday. The past 24 hours have been nothing short of a bloodbath, as 14 people were seriously wounded in running gun battles. There were five fatalities, including one police officer.
Shootings in Centurion – latest news:
In the first incident around 05:00 on Monday, the driver of a taxi patrol vehicle was fatally shot near the Plaza Taxi Rank in Olievenhoutbosch. Three passengers in the car survived the shooting, but they were immediately rushed to a hospital in Centurion for medical attention.
Later at around 18:55 on the same day in Heuweloord in Wierdabrug, a vehicle with no registration numbers allegedly stopped alongside a stationary taxi on Ruimte Road. Three armed men are said to have jumped from the vehicle, where they began firing shots at the taxi. Three men were fatally wounded who were inside the taxi. The suspects then escaped in the same vehicle.
In the meantime, a police member was shot and critically wounded at around about the same time as the incident on Ruimte Street near Mall 55 in Olievenhoutbosch. Shots were allegedly fired randomly from an unknown vehicle. Six other victims sustained injuries, while one person was declared dead on the scene.
Elias Mawela is the Lieutenant General of Gauteng SAPS. In a statement released on Tuesday, he vowed to “work around the clock” to ensure the safety of all Centurion residents who use this method of travel. The police confirmed they are already investigating cases of both murder and attempted murder.
“As the police, we are duty-bound to ensure the safety of commuters who rely on taxis as a means of transport, especially during this festive season period where people will be travelling long and short distances to different destinations. Police will work around the clock to ensure the perpetrators of the violence are arrested.”
#sapsGP Gauteng PC Lt Gen Elias Mawela has condemned the violence & called for restrained following 3 separate incidents yesterday in Olievenhoutbosch & Wierdabrug during which 5 victims lost their lives & 9 injured including a policeman.