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Gauteng top cop calls for restraint after 5 people killed in taxi violence

Lieutenant General Elias Mawela called for the immediate mobilisation of maximum resources to ensure that the perpetrators of these violent acts are apprehended and that the violence does not escalate further.

A taxi was shot at in Olievenhoutbosch on 2 December 2019. Picture: @Yoliswamakhasi/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela on Monday called for restraint after five people were killed in taxi-related violence in the province.

The driver of a taxi patrol vehicle was fatally shot at a taxi rank in Olievenhoutbosch on Monday. This was after a police officer was shot and critically wounded by a hail of bullets fired from an unknown vehicle. One person was declared dead on the scene.

In a separate incident, three men allegedly fired shots at a taxi in Wierdabrug and fatally wounded three men who were inside.

Mawela called for the immediate mobilisation of maximum resources to ensure that the perpetrators of these violent acts are apprehended and that the violence does not escalate further.

“As the police, we are dutybound to ensure the safety of commuters who rely on taxis as a means of transport, especially during this festive season period where people will be travelling long and short distances to different destinations,” Mawela said.

He assured the public that police would work around the clock to ensure that the perpetrators are found and arrested.

Cases of murder and attempted murder would be investigated.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said more police were deployed to these areas to ensure the safety of taxi commuters.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo was expected to meet with law enforcement officials on Tuesday morning over those incidents.

The head of department Makhukhu Mampuru said the MEC would discuss what urgent measures should be taken to curb the violence.

“The MEC will be announcing the drastic measures that he’ll be taking after our meeting this morning because this cannot be allowed to continue,” he said.

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