Johannesburg - A man who was found in possession of AK47 live rounds and ammunition has not been linked to the horrific KwaZulu-Natal taxi massacre that claimed 12 lives.
Speaking on Radio 702 on Thursday morning, national police spokesperson Vish Naidoo said all that the man was charged with was being possession of ammunition. The police have not conclusively linked him to the attack that happened over the weekend where a taxi carrying 17 people was shot at more than 200 times. It's believed high-powered rifles, including an AK47, were used.
"We haven't as the SAPS confirmed that he is indeed linked to that attack. We're not sure how the story broke and we're trying to investigate that. While we are at the very sensitive stage of the investigation... and a breakthrough is very close," Naidoo confirmed.
The people who were in the taxi when it was attacked were operators and mechanics linked to a Joburg-based taxi association and were ambushed on their way to Gauteng from a funeral in Greytown. They had been attending the funeral of a taxi boss who had also been killed in Gauteng and was buried in Matimatolo on Saturday.
After news of the shooting broke, National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole announced that he had implemented a 72-hour action plan to trace and arrest those responsible for the massacre. Naidoo said the plan had indeed proved to be successful. He said the 72 hours was not a deadline but a plan to activate maximum resources such as crime intelligence, the Hawks and forensic experts.
"The 72 hours activation basically enables this team to gather as much information. Whatever it is that we need that will enable us to successfully trace and arrest the suspect and all that has been achieved within 72 hours. It's not a deadline and all that needed to be done was done like it has been done for the Ngcobo massacre and three robberies in one week on cash in transit vehicles. The 72 hours activation plan was put in place and within those hours we were able to arrest perpetrators in all those crimes."
"So this activation plan is basically the mobilisation of resources and expertise, to ensure that we have covered every aspect of the investigation to enable us to arrest the suspect... and I think we have done exceptionally well so far. We have not made a pronouncement yet on how far we've gone on the investigation (regarding the taxi killing) but we certainly will in the near future," Naidoo said.