Shots fired at police during Eastern Cape taxi shutdown, five arrests

Trucks are being looted during the protest action

27 May 2024 - 12:41
By TimesLIVE
Shots were fired at police in the Eastern Cape during taxi-related protest action. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/ruslanphoto2 Shots were fired at police in the Eastern Cape during taxi-related protest action. Stock photo.

Police have deployed officers from public order policing, the national intervention unit and tactical response team to Mthatha, where roads have been blocked during a taxi protest since Monday morning.

The N2 and the R61 are closed, with motorists advised to use alternative routes. The protest follows a clampdown last week by authorities after a resurgence of taxi-related violence in the area.

Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu said five suspects were arrested after shots were fired at public order policing and Mthatha visible policing members.

“At about 9am police were following a Toyota Fortuner with five occupants on the bypass from the Ultra City joining Ngcobo Road when shots were fired at the police members.

“Police retaliated and two suspects were wounded (one in the arm and the other in the leg). Three other suspects were also arrested.

“A case of attempted murder and possession of firearms was opened for investigation.”

Eastern Cape police commissioner Lt-Gen Nomthetheleli Mene warned those circulating videos and messages that appear to incite unrest.

“Such actions are not only irresponsible but also illegal. We will take strict action against anyone found to be engaging in activities that threaten the safety and security of the public and the integrity of the election process.”

The provincial transport department said earlier all the major entry/exit points to Mthatha were blocked by protesting taxi operators.

It reported looting of trucks carrying goods, from furniture to food.

The provincial EFF said a truck meant to deliver T-shirts for its volunteers was looted in Mthatha.