Port St. Johns taxi rank shootout leaves three people dead

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Port St. Johns Taxi Association in the Eastern Cape has confirmed that today’s shooting incident is related to recent taxi violence in the area. The Port St John’s town has reportedly been brought to a standstill after heavily armed men stormed the taxi rank and fired shots at taxi operators.

Three people were shot dead while five others sustained gunshot wounds. It is reported that businesses were forced to shut down and learners who were on their way to school were forced to go back home due the violence.

Some taxis have reportedly been torched by community members. Last week three people were gunned down in the area.

The Association’ spokesperson Sakhiwo Lusiba has appealed for government to intervene.

” We started with talks before but they did not yield results. So now I think what we as Port St. Johns are waiting for, we thought that if the higher people can come to Port St. Johns and solve this problem because if two people are fighting there must be a mediator in that situation. Since the shooting in Pando, there was nothing, we are still staying as if nothing happened. That is why we thought the government can send people from different levels so that this thing can be resolved soon.”

Passengers left stranded after shooting:

Provincial police spokesperson Priscilla Naidu says an eleven-year-old boy was among those wounded after he was hit by a stray bullet and was rushed to hospital.

Naidu says a large police contingency has been deployed to the area to monitor the situation. She says nine suspects have been arrested.

“Multi-disciplinary forces are on the ground. Police will remain in the area until the situation stabilises. Lt Gen Mene (provincial commissioner) has vehemently condemned such criminal behaviour. She says such lawlessness will not be tolerated as innocent lives are at risk. We immediately call on all stakeholders to come forward and engage in constructive discussions and urgently find a solution so as to avoid further loss of lives.”

Meanwhile, Mayor of Port St Johns Nomvuzo Mlombile Cingo has called for calm and peace.

“We would like to request the taxi industry to please sort the challenges and be able to bring peace in Port St. Johns. The law enforcement is already in Port St. Johns and doing their work, we would like them to make sure that peace is restored in our town.”