Limpopo taxi operators found dead in car sprayed with bullets
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Pretoria - Two Limpopo taxi operators were found dead, sprayed with bullets in Pienaarsrivier in the Waterberg District on Saturday.
According to police, the bullet-riddled bodies were found inside an idling sedan at the Pankop-Pienaarsrivier T-junction in the afternoon.
The dead were identified as Charles Sibanda, whose age is not yet known by police, and 50-year-old Julius Morifi.
The pair were reportedly the chairperson and secretary of Simunye Taxi Association (STA) respectively.
Provincial police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo said the duo had attended a funeral at a nearby village when they were attacked by unknown men.
He said: “It is believed the two victims attended a funeral at Phake village and as they were driving back and approaching the said T-junction, their vehicle was apparently shot at many times by unknown suspects.
The victims’ vehicle went through the intersection and stopped in the nearby bushes.
“It is not clear at this stage how many suspects were involved and whether or not they were on foot or driving a motor vehicle.”
The provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, has urged community members to assist the investigators in providing valuable information that can lead to the apprehension of the assailants.
Mojapelo added: “The motive for the incident is not known at this stage, but taxi violence cannot be ruled out.”
In September four taxi operators were arrested for the killing of taxi boss Fourie Maphayi, 47, and Deborah Moila, 42, who was with him.
They were shot dead execution-style shortly after they arrived at the petrol station in Mohlabaneng Cross, near Bellevue.
Mojapelo had said with the assistance of a private security company, a team of investigators arrested the taxi operator, aged 36, in Tzaneen.
The three others, aged between 30 and 40, were traced to Tembisa. Police recovered a Toyota Quantum which was possibly used in the killings.