Fatal taxi hijacking: police shoot two

2009-12-21 00:00

KZN police are vigilant and will be deployed in every corner of the province — that’s the message to criminals who might be thinking about taking chances during this festive season.

 Provincial police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge was reacting yesterday to the sterling work by officers who successfully managed to corner criminals during a taxi hijacking in KwaMakhutha that left a taxi boss dead.

According to Mdunge, two armed men on foot hijacked a taxi owner in Folweni just outside Mbumbulu in the early hours of Saturday morning.

They allegedly shot the taxi owner dead before fleeing in his taxi.

“It appears that some people in the area saw what happened and raised the alarm by calling police,” said Mdunge.

Police from the KwaMakhutha police station caught up with the criminals in that area and gave chase.

Police from other stations were also called in for back-up to try to close the suspects in from every angle.

According to Mdunge, the suspects realised that they were being cornered by the police, lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an embankment.

“The suspects alighted and started shooting at the police. The police officers returned fire and one of the suspects was fatally wounded.

“The other suspect is under police guard in hospital and is in a serious condition.

“Fortunately no police officer was shot.”

According to reports by Netcare911, one of the suspects was thrown out of the taxi when it capsized.

He sustained gunshot wounds to his chest, but was stabilised before being taken to hospital.

It took a lengthy struggle involving the jaws of life to free the other suspect trapped in the vehicle with the help of eThekwini Metro Firefighters, Netcare911’s Jeff Wicks said.

Mdunge said they plan to follow wholeheartedly the festive security plan launched by the Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, Commissioner of Police Bheki Cele and the provincial commissioner, which he said will leave no room for criminals.

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