'It went on and on and on': Bullets fly in deadly Hout Bay taxi war

2019-04-01 12:26
Forensics on Hout Bay Main Road combing the scene where four bodies had been found. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Forensics on Hout Bay Main Road combing the scene where four bodies had been found. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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A Hout Bay woman prayed aloud as she lay flat on the ground in her home, counting dozens of bangs as umpteen bullets were fired in the taxi war on Monday morning.

"It went on and on and on and on. My heart was racing. It didn't end," she told News24, asking not to be named as she feared for her safety.

She was going to be late for work as she only ventured out of her house at 09:00, when she heard movement return to the overcrowded streets of Imizamo Yethu.

On her way to hitchhike on Victoria Road, she passed the local sports field. 

Forensics and police were combing the scene where four bodies had been found. Two bodies were lying outside a taxi next to the Hout Bay police station. Another was covered further down the main road.

Read: Four bodies discovered in Hout Bay amid taxi violence

taxi shooting

The scene in Hout Bay Main Road where four bodies had been found. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

The fourth corpse was behind a club house in the sports facility. Locals speculated that this person had been shot while trying to flee.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said two people had also been injured in the taxi-related shooting.

"Meanwhile, a team of specialist detectives has been established to look into these murders, including the one which occurred last Thursday," he said.

Crowds of people, including some still dressed in their pyjamas, watched as police worked the scene. 

"It was terrifying. And it happened right here, almost on the police’s doorstep. Wow!" she said, shaking her head. 

The City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith has recognised the recent taxi violence as conflict between two taxi associations, saying the taxi industry has come to "heavily rely" on assassinations.

"There is almost no conviction rate for this, so people kill with impunity in the taxi industry. Killing is a viable business practice sadly and there’s never any consequences for it," he said.

Cata and Codeta were both suspended by the Provincial Regulatory Entity and the local taxi rank has also been closed off following recent shootings.

"If you kill, you don’t get to run your businesses," Smith said.

Several operations were underway in an effort to quell the violence, Traut said. 

No arrests have yet been made.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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