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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Cape Town cop gunned down while on patrol during taxi strike

Police said the possibility that the fatal shooting is related to Cape Town's ongoing taxi strike, cannot be ruled out.

A Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officer sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the head when the vehicle he was travelling in came under heavy fire in Nyanga on Friday evening.

Zanikhaya Kwinana, 32, and two of his colleagues were en route to Bishop Lavis on a crime prevention patrol for any taxi strike-related incidents, when a gunman opened fire on their vehicle.

Cop killed as gunman opens fire on patrol vehicle

Early indications are that at least 13 shots were fired, leaving their patrol vehicle riddled with bullet holes.

According to police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie, the tragic killing took place just after 8pm in Miller Road.

“Preliminary information reveals that the deceased was a passenger in the back of a vehicle when an unknown gunman opened fire while they were travelling along Miller Road, en route to Bishop Lavis.

“They noticed that the deceased sustained gunshot wounds to the head and sped off to the Heideveld Day Hospital where the officer was declared deceased.”

ALSO READ: Three suspects arrested for killing cop during robbery

The motive for the shooting is unknown and the investigation is still ongoing.

Pojie, however, said the possibility that the attack is related to the ongoing taxi strike which have caused major upheaval and incidents of violence in the city, cannot be ruled out.

ALSO READ: ‘There is no hope for us’: Santaco taxi stayaway brings Cape Town to standstill

MMC for safety and security JP Smith told TimesLIVE that the city has arranged counselling for the other officers who were in the vehicle, as well as LEAP deployees in Gugulethu where the officer was based.

“Initial indications are that as many as 13 bullets hit the vehicle, which means the shooter’s intent was very clear. This callous attack must be condemned in the strongest terms and we will not rest until those responsible are caught and brought to justice.”

ALSO READ: Gangster arrested for crossfire killing of off-duty CT cop

Reward for information that could lead to arrest of cop killer

The city calls on anyone with information related to this attack to report it to the city’s toll-free tip-off line. Tips can be shared anonymously, and the city is offering a reward of up to R100,000 for credible information that leads to an arrest. The number is 0800 11 0077.

Violent taxi strike sparked by new by-laws

The week-long South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) taxi strike follows after several taxis were impounded on Wednesday, resulting in a violent stand-off with law enforcement officers.

The city’s new by-laws allow for authorities to impound minibus taxis when drivers do not obey traffic laws and vehicles are not roadworthy.

ALSO READ: Cape Town taxi strike: Bus driver shot and MyCiti Khayelitsha route suspended

Apart from leaving thousands of commuters stranded, some of the taxi strike-related incidents so far, include:

  •  A Golden Arrow bus driver shot and injured in Khayelitsha;
  • Eskom company vehicle was petrol-bombed in Khayelitsha
  • Vehicles set alight in Khayelitsha, Langa and Atlantis;
  • Protests, with reports of tyres set alight in Atlantis, Bloekombos, Witsand and Borcherds Quarry, and
  • Stone-throwing along the N7 near Dunoon, where a delivery van was also set alight.

Eskom announced that it has suspended its services in Khayelitsha, Delft, Belhar, Dunoon, Philippi and Fisantekraal following the petrol-bombing.

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