File photo
Image: Lebohang Mashiloane

At least nine people have been arrested following deadly clashes between local taxi drivers and foreign nationals in Pienaarsdorp and Klerksdorp‚ said North West police.

The group was arrested at the weekend‚ said Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.

“The suspects’ arrest follows two separate incidents in which two people were killed. It is alleged that police in Klerksdorp were patrolling the area [on Sunday] morning when they found a body of a male on the street. It later [emerged] that the body with two stab wounds was of a local taxi driver‚” said Mokgwabone.

“It is alleged that an unconfirmed number of taxi drivers grouped themselves with the intention to avenge their colleague’s death who they alleged was killed by foreign nationals. According to information available at this stage‚ reports suggest that later during the day‚ a 28-year-old Zimbabwean national was allegedly stabbed with a knife on his chest by taxi drivers while at his tuck shop. He was taken to hospital‚ but certified dead on arrival.”

Mokgwabone said a group of people‚ believed to be taxi drivers‚ were seen setting alight hawker stands at the local taxi rank.

“Public Order Police was mobilised and managed to normalise the situation. Consequently‚ two separate cases of murder were opened for investigation‚” he said.

The nine suspects‚ who have been charged for the murder of the Zimbabwean man‚ are to appear in the Klerksdorp Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. They will also face a charge of public violence.

Police are yet to charge anyone for the killing of the local taxi driver. Meanwhile‚ North West premier Job Mokgoro has condemned the incidents. He urged residents not to take the law into their own hands.