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By Chisom Jenniffer Okoye


Santaco says taxi shot full of hundreds of holes isn’t necessarily taxi violence

Neither the taxi association council nor the police are able to pinpoint what led to the shooting and who pulled the triggers.

The South African National Taxi Association Council (Santaco) said claims by a taxi association that the mass killing of 12 taxi passengers at the weekend was as a result of mistaken identity, or that it may be linked to the disputed Mall of Africa route, have left them baffled.

The attack took place in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.

Eleven people were declared dead at the scene, while a 12th person, who had been in a critical condition, died on Tuesday morning in hospital.

Gunmen used high-powered rifles, firing more than 200 shots into a Toyota Quantum taxi that was travelling along the R74 between Colenso and Weenen.

The group travelling in the vehicle was reportedly returning from the funeral of Ivory Park Taxi Association member Nkosi Mthembu.

Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa said the council had a meeting with the Ivory Park Taxi Association yesterday.

Association members distanced themselves from the killings, saying they were well known for their good reputation and that they were not in any conflict with other taxi associations.

Molelekwa said the council did not want to create the impression that the killings were a result of taxi violence until police had completed their investigations.

“We urge the police to shed light on the case to relieve the heavy doubts and tension in this dark moment in the taxi industry,” said Molelekwa. “If the police do not bring about a speedy resolution, there will be an increase in panic and fear within the industry and that will lead to more problems.”

South African Police Service spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said the relevant task teams investigating the matter were making good progress.

But the motive for the shootings was still inconclusive.

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