KwaZulu-Natal police have shot and killed three alleged taxi hitmen who opened fire on a taxi full of passengers on Friday.
According to police, a taxi with passengers was travelling from Bridge City in KwaMashu to Umzinyathi at around 5.30 pm when the driver noticed another minibus taxi following him.
Police said that when the taxi reached the Umzinyathi area, the occupants of the second vehicle opened fire at the taxi laden with passengers.
“The driver fled from the scene and when he returned to the vehicle, he realized that five female passengers were wounded,” KZN police spokesman, Brigadier Jay Naicker said.
“The injured were conveyed to local health facilities to receive medical attention. Police officers from the K9 Unit and Inanda SAPS who were deployed in the area heard the gunshots and immediately responded. The gunmen fled the scene closely pursued by police,” he said.
As the pursuing police officers approached the gunmen, they allegedly opened fire on the officers which led to a gun battle.
“They eventually lost control of their vehicle at Emachobeni and the vehicle overturned into a ditch. Three hitman died on the scene as a result of gunshot wounds to the body. It is suspected that others may have fled the scene after the vehicle came to a standstill,“ Naicker said.
Police recovered five firearms at the scene including a rifle and shotgun.
Naicker said cases of attempted murder and inquest have been registered for further investigation.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Thulani Gonya commended police officers from the K9 Unit and Inanda SAPS who immediately responded to the attack on the taxi.
“We have had a number of such attacks on taxis in that region and police officers have been deployed in that area to respond to such incidents. We hope that those behind this rampant criminality within the taxi industry in that area will see that we will not tolerate unscrupulous individuals who don’t care that innocent people are killed and maimed due to their greed,” he said.
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