A total of 11 people have been arrested in connection with the ongoing taxi violence in Port St Johns that has claimed at least three lives and left scores of other injured.
On Wednesday, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the number of arrests had risen from nine to 11, and that the suspects facing charges of murder, attempted murder, malicious damage to property, discharging of firearms in a built-up municipality area, and public violence are expected to appear in the Port St Johns Magistrate’s Court soon.
It is alleged that on Tuesday, two taxi associations were engaged in a shootout at the Port St Johns taxi rank.
Three security officials from one taxi association in Lusikisiki were killed, while five other people from the Port St Johns taxi association sustained gunshot wounds.
An 11-year-old boy was also struck by a stray bullet and rushed to hospital.
Naidu said three vehicles were torched.
So far, police have seized 15 firearms, including pistols, AK-47’s, shotguns, and rifles, as well as 328 rounds of ammunition.
“There is a high density of police officials deployed in the area to ensure stability.”
Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has iterated that police and the relevant stakeholders are in dialogue with both taxi associations with the aim of putting an end to this feud.
“Our multi-disciplinary forces have made significant progress since the violence that erupted on Tuesday.
“Our police officers will maintain high visibility, and we, the police, are committed to ensuring the safety of all residents and commuters in the area.”