The bullet-riddled taxi in which 11 people associated with the Ivory Park Taxi Association were killed in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend. Picture: Facebook
NATIONAL police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sitole yesterday condemned the senseless killing of 11 people associated with the Ivory Park Taxi Association, based in Gauteng, and announced that a special task team will probe the incident..

The killings took place on Saturday night on the R74 between Colenso and Weenen in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said.

Preliminary reports indicated that the 11 were among 17 people travelling back to Johannesburg in a minibus taxi after a funeral in KwaZulu-Natal. It was believed that unknown men opened fire on the taxi, fatally wounding 11 people. Four others were critically wounded and were recuperating in hospital, while two escaped unharmed.

Sitole had activated a 72-hour action plan comprised of officers from specialised SAPS units, including crime intelligence, the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks), detectives, and the special task force to trace and apprehend those responsible for the killings.

KwaZulu-Natal acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and his management team would oversee the investigation. “We will wait before speculating on a motive,” Sitole said.

Earlier, Naidoo said the minibus taxi from Gauteng was travelling from a funeral at Ematimotolo, proceeding back to Johannesburg just before 8pm. “On the R74 road between Colenso and Weenen unknown persons jumped out on to the road from the bushes and opened fire at the taxi.

“Unconfirmed information for now indicates the passengers were from a taxi association in Gauteng attending the funeral of one of their members,” he said. - African News Agency (ANA),