Taxi violence witnesses reluctant to come forward

2014-02-19 21:05

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Johannesburg - Witnesses of taxi violence are often reluctant to give information because they fear for their safety, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.

"This is because previously people who gave information were later targeted, some of whom were killed before the cases were finalised," deputy provincial commissioner Major General Tebello Mosikili told reporters in Midrand.

She said taxi violence cost lives.

"Usually these people are fighting over routes and commuters."

A R100 000 reward would be offered to anyone with information that would lead to the arrest of those involved in taxi violence. Mosikili sought to reassure those with information who feared for their lives.

"NPA has a witness protection programme for witnesses who feel their lives are in danger."

She said 16 investigators were dealing with the taxi-related crimes.

"We have assembled a team of detectives from the Hawks investigation and provincial investigation to form a team and investigate all these cases."

Mosikili said the team was already working on 108 dockets, of which 31 were court-going cases.

A 51-year-old taxi association chairperson was shot and killed in Zondi, Soweto on Monday night. The Star reported that he was Dorljota taxi association boss Vusi Shabangu. Two men shot him as he was reversing his BMW X5 out of the yard of his girlfriend's house.

Mosikili also urged anyone with information on the killing of two teenage girls in Soweto to help police with their investigation. The girls, aged 15 and 16, were found dead in Dobsonville, Soweto, on Wednesday morning.

They were dressed in their school uniforms, and had cuts on their hands and necks. Police said razors, candles and their school bags were found next them.

"The 15-year-old was positively identified by her mother and the second is still unknown," she said.

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