Man shot dead at Bellville rank as taxi violence flares

The Bellville station precinct with the adjacent taxi rank. Picture: Ian Landsberg/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Police arrested three men after a 60-year-old man was shot dead at the Bellville taxi rank on Monday morning.

Police spokeswoman Brigadier Novela Potelwa said: “The vehicle that the suspects were driving in hit a wall while they were trying to evade arrest. After the collision, the suspects abandoned their vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. However, they were apprehended by the officers on duty. Upon searching the suspects, officers discovered two firearms, one of which was fully loaded.” 

The arrests in Bellville happened the same day as police held five suspects in Mbekweni, a township between Wellington and Paarl. 

“Officers responded yesterday morning to gunshots coming from the taxi rank close to the  Mbekweni railway station. On the way there, they stopped a taxi that was travelling at a high speed with five male occupants. Upon searching the vehicle, they found an empty 9mm cartridge on the floor of the vehicle and gunshot holes in the windows. Upon further investigation, they also found two 9mm pistol, a 7.62 pistol, seven magazines, 41 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 11 rounds of 7.62 ammunition, seven 9mm cartridges and a 7.62 cartridge.” 

The suspects are from Nyanga East, Blackheath, Strand and Kraaifontein. 

All eight appeared in court on Tuesday for charges ranging from possession of firearms to murder. 

Brigadier Potelwa said: “Mbekweni and Bellville have experienced shooting incidents that are believed to be taxi-related recently.”

Meanwhile three men were shot dead by unknown assailants in Dromedaris Street, Ruyterwacht on Monday night. Several hours earlier, a commuter was killed and a taxi driver wounded when they came under attack in Mbekweni. 

“A team of detectives from the SAPS provincial office is investigating the cases,” said Brigadier Potelwa.