Durban - A VIDEO circulating on social media at the weekend of a Toyota Quantum taxi carrying passengers coming under attack left many shocked.
A 55-year-old passenger died while seven others were injured on the M25 near the Inanda Newtown B turn-off on Saturday afternoon.
The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) has called for calm asking for its members and the community not to take the law into their own hands.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed the shooting, saying there were 15 passengers in the vehicle. She said the Inanda Serious Crime Unit was investigating a murder as well as attempted murders.
Mbele said the taxi riddled with bullet holes was affiliated to Ndwedwe and District Taxi Association and was driven from Durban to the uMzinyathi area.
“The taxi was shot at with rifles by suspects in a white bakkie. One passenger was fatally wounded. He was found slumped on the floor inside the taxi, with other seven passengers sustaining injuries and being conveyed to Mahatma Gandhi and City Hospital. Twenty-three rifle cartridges were found at the scene,” she said.
In the video, the taxi is stationary when a white bakkie drives past on the passenger side and shots are heard.
The bakkie drives off as more shots are heard and returns on the taxi driver’s side. It drives past the taxi and reverses to the driver’s door where smoke can be seen as more shots are fired.
Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli called on the police to act swiftly in finding the assailants: “Many innocent people are being killed and seriously injured, including bystanders, passengers and taxi operators, as a result of taxi violence.”
Santaco spokesperson Sifiso Shangase appealed for calm and for people to leave the investigation in the hands of the law enforcement agencies..
“We are shocked at what is portrayed in the video, where a minibus taxi is attacked with high calibre rifle fire with commuters on board.
“We are pleading to the parties concerned to look for alternative interventions on their differences or challenges they have.
“The only solution is to obtain a negotiated settlement. Our team in partnership with the government have previously been to the area for a fact finding mission, prior to the attack,” he said.
Premier Sihle Zikalala yesterday also condemned the attack and appealed for urgent arrests.