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Johannesburg - Police are hunting for a suspect who vanished from the scene of the vehicle chase that brought the M1 highway to a standstill on Tuesday.
Questions still remain about how the man - on foot - escaped from a profusion of SAPS and metro police officers.
The SAPS has also defended its decision to bring other police cars and a helicopter into the two-hour-long chase of the 23-seater taxi.
On Tuesday, police investigated a ruckus at a taxi rank in central Pretoria. As they approached a taxi at the centre of the commotion, it sped from the scene.
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said police were suspicious and chased the taxi down the streets of Pretoria and on the highway to Joburg.
Two other police vehicles and a helicopter joined in the chase.
Dlamini said on Wednesday that the chase had been a difficult one and required further help from other officers.
“We will only call a helicopter if it is needed,” said Dlamini.
When the taxi eventually stopped at the Joe Slovo off-ramp near Killarney, two men inside it allegedly opened fire on the police, who shot back.
The taxi driver was wounded and subsequently arrested.
Dlamini said they were still looking for the other man in the vehicle, who fled the scene on foot.
Asked why it took upwards of seven hours to reopen the highway, Dlamini was unwilling “to speculate”.
He said the Joburg metro police department was meant to be redirecting vehicles around the scene to keep traffic flowing.
The two men are suspected of having links to incidents of taxi violence, but have not been linked directly to any of the crimes.