Three people were shot and killed in what is believed to be a taxi turf war, in Lwandle last week.
A 37-year-old woman, the wife of a taxi owner, was shot several times and killed on arriving at her Tyawe Street home in Nomzamo around 20:40 on Tuesday (30 July).
In a separate incident, two young people were fatally shot around 21:30 on Thursday 1 August, on the corner of Linda and Magatya streets in Asanda Village. The young man (23) and woman (in her 20s) were in a white Toyota Avanza when they were killed.
The man is the son of a taxi owner and the woman was his partner.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama confirmed nothing had been taken from the victims in both incidents.
It is believed the three murders are linked to tensions between local taxi associations over routes from Lwandle to Bellville.
Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka, spokesperson for the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works, said the department, the City of Cape Town and the police, are aware of tensions over taxi operations in the area.
Asked if the department has intervened in these tensions, Makoba-Somdaka said: “MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela has instructed his officials and those of the City’s Transport Directorate to work with the police in the area to identify illegal operators and the associations’ leaders who facilitate route invasions.”
She said they were instructed to investigate, in particular, the “warlords” who profit through illegal operations, intimidation, extortion and murder to achieve their aims.
Makoba-Somdaka said the department had not been aware of any latest incident involving the rival associations. “The police must be given the space to investigate the murders and establish whether there are links to organised crime within the taxi industry,” she said. “If requested to do so by legal operators in the area, the department is prepared to mediate to resolve disputes over routes and operating conditions,” she said.
Meanwhile, the police say their detectives and crime scene experts are still working round the clock to locate suspects involved in the latest murders in the precinct.
Gama said: “Police were called to the scene and on their arrival they found two deceased shot in a white Toyota Avanza. It is alleged that both deceased, who are in the early 20s, were travelling in the motor vehicle when unknown suspects fired several shots at them. They died on the scene.”
He said police examined both crime scenes to search for clues and evidence to locate the suspects involved.
“Ambulance services were called to both scenes and certified the occupants as deceased,” Gama said. “At this stage, in both incidents, the number of suspects involved and the description of getaway cars are still unknown.”
Makoba-Somdaka said the minister is committed to the rule of law, saying he has made it clear he will not broker deals with criminals who seek to run the minibus taxi industry as their personal criminal empire. The MEC has instructed law enforcement officer to uphold the law by:. impounding all illegally operating taxis;. investigating the murders and any possible links to organised crime within the taxi industry; and
. calling a meeting between the provincial Taxi Registrar and operators in the area, investigating and, if warranted, disciplining associations and operators who have breached their code of conduct.
Police request anyone with important information about both incidents to contact Lwandle police detective Sergeant Bongekile Ntsontso, as they are eager to arrest the suspects.
He can be contacted on 082 522 3361 or 021 845 2060. Alternatively, you can call 08600 10111.
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