Share this article:
Pretoria – Police are investigating the murder of four Hammanskraal taxi officers, shot dead while eating lunch over the weekend.
SAPS spokesman Brigadier Brenda Muridili said a provincial taxi violence unit was investigating four counts of murder. “It is alleged that around noon on Sunday, four members of the Simunye Taxi Association were approached by a white hatchback Audi. Without a word, two occupants with guns started shooting at them before fleeing. .
“All the players have been mobilized in accordance with the 72-hour activation plan. No one has been arrested yet. Anyone with information can call Crime Stop 08600 10111 or send information to the MySAPS app.
Videos and images of the bodies of a taxi driver-owner, a queue commissioner and two former executive members of the Simunye Taxi association have toured social networks.
The disturbing videos show the dead were seated at a table outside when they were ambushed and shot; their bodies remained face down after being sprayed with bullets at the taxi rank at Rainbow Mall.
A spokesperson for the taxi industry in Tshwane, McDonald Makata, said it was high time that security measures were put in place.
The assailants were killing taxi drivers at their workplaces and fleeing the scene with no problem, he said.
“We seriously condemn this senseless act of violence. We cannot go on like this, with some people believing that violence is the solution to everything.
“At this point, we don’t know what may have caused the shooting, but we hope law enforcement can help us find out and punish the perpetrators. “
Gauteng’s Department of Public Transport and Road Infrastructure said MEC Jacob Mamabolo has been very vocal and aggressive in dealing with tensions in the industry, even putting some taxi associations under administration.
He offered his condolences to the families of the victims. “We extend our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims of this barbaric crime at the hands of ruthless and bloodthirsty criminals. We call on those who may have leads to come forward and help the police apprehend the perpetrators.
“We condemn those who orchestrated the murders which deprived families of their loved ones. These elements are doing the taxi industry a disservice, projecting the industry as an inhuman and violent industry.
“Those who continue to use violence are isolating themselves in our province as more and more executives in the taxi industry reject these barbaric methods in their businesses. While this incident is disheartening, it will not stop us in our efforts to rid the industry of murder. “
Mamabolo said the department has adopted an open door policy that allows taxi operators to have a platform to voice their concerns without resorting to violence. This is in line with its Growing Gauteng Through Smart Mobility vision, which prioritized support mechanisms to help the taxi industry modernize and shed its negative reputation and become sustainable.