Cape Town - The taxi driver who survived a barrage of bullets in Kuils River in March last year in an incident that left two McDonald’s workers dead, is yet to be interviewed by police watchdog the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, and no disciplinary action has been taken against the police officers.
Vuyisile Jezile, 61, was transporting Kuils River McDonalds staff when police opened fire, firing more than 50 bullets, leaving two workers dead. Jezile was hit once in the leg.
Police had mistaken the taxi for a similar Toyota Quantum taxi driven by suspects they were chasing after responding to an armed robbery at a Caltex garage in Kuils River.
Of the 12 workers who were travelling in the taxi that night, two were left paralysed and no longer work.
Speaking to the Weekend Argus this week, Jezile said he was disappointed that Ipid had not stuck to its promise of investigating the case. He said he was shocked to find out the police were still in service.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: “Mr Vuyisile Jezile was the driver of the McDonald’s taxi when the police shot at his taxi. Three victims sustained gunshot wounds and were admitted at Kuils River Netcare Hospital. They are Vuyokazi Apleni, 29, Sandra Mokole, 25, and Peggy Mashiyana. Two persons died at the scene, namely Xolisa Tshobe and Noxolo Skota."
“The statement of Mr Jezile was taken by the police at the scene immediately after the shooting incident and he confirmed it to the investigator at the scene. There were seven more people in the taxi but their statements could not be taken at the scene because they were too traumatised.”
Dlamini said the statements of the seven witnesses and the three wounded victims were later taken by an attorney and handed over to the investigator on August 22 last year, at McDonald’s in Tygervalley.
“Mr Vuyisile Jezile was also present during the meeting and he re-confirmed his statement that was taken by the police at that meeting. According to the investigator, he has spoken several times to Mr Jezile telephonically, requesting his assistance with reconstruction of the scene but he was reluctant to assist and told the investigator that he would have to speak to his attorney,” Dlamini said.
Dlamini said eight ballistic reports had been compiled and the last one was received just over a week ago.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut confirmed the officers had not been suspended.
He would not respond to queries about whether there was an investigation into the officers’ conduct or whether police had investigated any SAPS members.
Jezile said the winter season revives the pain of his now-healed leg injury.
“I’m disappointed by Ipid because they said they would start the investigation with me and that we would even fly with a helicopter above the scene. I have not even received a phone call from them.”
He said he had tried to contact the directorate to initiate an investigation, but said the watchdog had not been forthcoming.
“(Ipid) told my lawyers that they would visit the scene,” Jezile said.
Gwen Mbiza, Jezile’s attorney, said they are involved only in the civil claim against police. She would not divulge how much the claim is.
* In February last year police opened fire on a minibus transporting Nando’s staff in Dunoon, killing Phumeza Fudumele and injuring another worker. The police had also mistook their vehicle for a taxi involved in an ATM bombing.
The National Prosecuting Authority is studying findings on the shooting.