The place where three men, thought to be taxi owners, were shot and killed in Mabopane.      Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
The place where three men, thought to be taxi owners, were shot and killed in Mabopane. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Mabopane taxi shooting: 'It was as if each of them had his own shooter in sight'

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published May 23, 2020

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Pretoria - After their blood, which had soaked into the ground, was covered with soil near the busy Mabopane taxi rank on Friday, police said they were in pursuit of those responsible for the fatal shooting of the three men, believed to be taxi owners, in a turf war on Thursday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said they had received a call about a shooting incident at the corner of Bushveld and August roads.

“On arrival, the police found three men lying on the ground with gunshot wounds. The victims were later certified dead by paramedics,” he said.

Eyewitnesses told the Pretoria News that four men, believed to be taxi bosses, had parked their car at the Engine petrol station behind the Mabopane transport station, and had got out of the car and engaged in a conversation.

While they were talking, three shooters had jumped out of a vehicle that had drawn up on the side of the road, approached them, and bullets were fired.

An informal trader, who asked not to be named, said: “The three shooters quickly approached them and shot them at close range. It was as if each of them had his own shooter in sight.

“It all happened so fast, and everyone started screaming and running away. The fourth man who was with the taxi owners ran for his life.

“The gunmen then jumped back into their car, whose engine a driver appeared to have kept running, and sped off.

"This left us shaking because it happened right in front of our eyes.”

Masondo said a preliminary investigation suggested that the victims were shot while having a discussion, and that they were taxi owners.

“We suspect that this shooting is related to the ongoing taxi violence in the area.

“Three cases of murder have been opened for further investigation.

Spokesperson for the SA National Taxi Council in Tshwane, McDonald Makata, said the taxi industry strongly condemned the shooting of the three men.

“This is really regrettable, and we would like to pass our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. We are also working to find out what could have triggered the shooting," Makata said.

“We regret that it had to get to a point where some people lost their lives. We want the law to take its course and that those responsible be held accountable for this crime.”

Masondo said the SAPS was appealing to anyone who had information about the shooting that could help police arrest the suspects, to contact their nearest police station, as the police are looking to arrest the culprits urgently.

People who were able to give the police useful information about the crime should contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111, he said, adding that information could also be given anonymously via the MySAPS app online.

Pretoria News

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