Taxi operators arrested after storming Mpumalanga police station, demanding murder accused's release

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Police in Emalahleni arrested 23 taxi operators who allegedly stormed a police station.
Police in Emalahleni arrested 23 taxi operators who allegedly stormed a police station.
Google© Streetview, Google Maps, taken 2022
  • Twenty-three taxi operators were arrested after they allegedly stormed a police station.
  • They demanded the release of a man who was under arrest for murder.
  • The taxi operators also allegedly threatened police.

About 23 taxi operators stormed the Emalahleni police station on Monday evening and demanded the release of a man who had been arrested for murder.

According to Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, the taxi operators threatened police officers.

They were arrested.

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Mohlala said the incident stemmed from "drama" on 15 March 2023, when taxi operators allegedly kidnapped and severely assaulted two men accused of theft in Klarinet.

"One of the captured males, identified as Sfiso Dube, 29, unfortunately succumbed to his injuries whilst the other one was admitted to hospital," he added.

Later, a man was arrested in Emalahleni in connection with Dube's murder. When he spotted the officers approaching the property, he ran out of the house holding what appeared to be a firearm and pointed it at one of the officers.

"That was when the police reportedly shot at the suspect, who sustained some injuries [to his] lower body. The 33-year-old male suspect was then arrested."

However, he added: 

At that point, police learned that the object they confiscated from his possession was a toy gun.

The man was taken to hospital, but was later discharged and taken into custody.

He is expected to appear in the Emalahleni Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) will probe the shooting incident.

READ | Taxi violence: Hitman sentenced to 5 terms of life imprisonment for killing 5 people

On Monday, the taxi operators stormed the police station to demand the man's release. When they were ordered to leave, they "became violent and began to pelt stones at the SAPS premises", Mohlala said.

Officers arrested the entire group, and all 23 people, aged 20 to 54, will face public violence charges in court on Wednesday.

Acting provincial police commissioner, Major General Zeph Mkhwanazi, said: "We cannot tolerate a situation whereby police officers are threatened. Drastic and firm action will definitely be taken against such individuals."

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