Police in Mpumalanga, in collaboration with other government agencies, including the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison (DCSSL), Transport Inspectorate and other relevant stakeholders have called for calm and are on high alert following taxi violence which erupted at Oakley, Mkhuhlu in the Calcutta near Bushbuckridge whereby one taxi driver, identified as Mr July Shabangu (41) was shot and later succumbed to his injuries at Matikwana hospital.
Two other taxi operators were shot but only sustained some injuries whilst a member of the public sustained some injuries after being shot as well during this incident.
Windows and tyres of about 15 mini busses were reportedly damaged during the incident which occurred on Tuesday, 28 March 2023 around 10:00.
The 16th minibus was torched in the evening of the said day.
According to the information, there were some disputes between members of Taxi Associations in the area which turned violent and led to the alleged crossfire amongst taxi operators.
Unfortunately a life has already been lost whilst others survived the shooting, with scores of kombis damaged. The matter was elevated to the Police in Calcutta after the death of the taxi driver in hospital. The investigators are probing a case of murder with three counts of attempted murder and malicious damage to property.
The damage of the minibuses in the morning was just the beginning of things as another kombi was torched at Hlalakahle in Mkhuhlu in the evening of the same day around 23:30.
It is further alleged that several shots were shot at the house of the taxi operator with one shot damaging a bedroom window. Fortunately there was no loss of life during the incident. No one has been arrested with regard to this incident however police are continuing with their investigation.
The management of the SAPS in Mpumalanga has strongly condemned the violent behaviour and urged the public to resolve matters in a civil manner rather than resolving matters through violence.