Port Elizabeth – A minibus taxi driver, who allegedly ploughed into a large group of students in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, killing three, could be on the run to his home country.
On Tuesday, police released an image of Brighton Tsvipa, 30, who abandoned the damaged taxi near his home in Missionvale after the accident on Sunday morning.
Captain Andre Beetge said he appeared to be in the country illegally.
The taxi owner assisted police with a copy of Tsvipa’s passport.
"We are still looking for him. If the public see this guy, they must immediately phone police," said Beetge.
"He is most probably going to try [to] skip the country. We have alerted all our border posts."
There was also the possibility that he could slip out of the country illegally.
3 killed, 4 injured
A huge crowd of teenagers, mixed with young adults, had been celebrating the end of exams and the start of school holidays in front of Eyethu nightclub, in Kwazakhele, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It is believed that hundreds of people were at the celebration, drinking alcohol, and that they had used a bunch of taxis to block the road off so they could party.
Beetge said a white minibus drove through the crowd at quite a speed around 01:30.
Yonela Matyu, 14, Siyasanga Adoni, 19, and Mngomezulu Nokulunga, 14, were killed.
Four others were injured.
Police confirmed that liquor officers were investigating whether all alcohol vendors in the area were adhering to the liquor act.
"There are about 122 licensed taverns, shebeens and sports bars in Kwazakhele alone," said Beetge.
'Alcohol easily purchased'
The neighbouring areas of New Brighton and Motherwell each had a similar amount of outlets. Beetge said these numbers excluded unlicensed locations where people sold liquor out of their homes.
ANC Nelson Mandela Bay region spokesperson Gift Ngqondi said the tragedy highlighted how the youth were abusing alcohol.
"The most worrying factor in our country is the fact that alcohol is easily purchased from bottle stores, supermarkets, bars and shebeens and other unlicensed liquor outlets, which outnumber licensed ones, particularly in disadvantaged communities."
Parents did not drink responsibly in front of their children and outlets were quite willing to sell to the under-aged, he said.
The ANC extended its condolences to the families of the teenagers.
Members of the public with information on Tsvipa’s whereabouts should contact investigating officer Captain Schalk van Wyk on 082 527 7495.