Govt condemns Mthatha fatal shooting as police hunt for suspects

JULY 22, 2016

Government says it has learnt with shock and deepest sense of sadness about the killing of three people and the injuring of more than ten people during a drive-by shooting in Mthatha on Thursday afternoon.

It said that this "barbaric cowardice act" is the second incident of this nature within a space of a month, to what is reportedly attributed to ongoing taxi violence between the area of Libode and Mthatha.

"As government we wish to express our disgust at this barbaric act, we condemn the senseless act of violence meted against those in the taxi industry which has affected commuters and the community at large," said Deputy Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni Abrahams

Government has called for calm "and cool heads to all the parties involved, whilst we give space to the law enforcement authorities to continue with their work and bring the perpetrators to book".

Anyone, who might have information that can lead to a successful arrest of the perpetrators, is encouraged to approach the law enforcement authorities and report it.

"We wish to make a call to all taxi operators in Libode and Mthatha to find amicable solution to whatever impasse facing the taxi industry in that region and government will work with law enforcement to assist that process whenever the need arises.
Lastly, we wish to advise commuters to be always alert and exercise greatest sense of caution," Minister Abrahams said. 

"Our heartfelt condolences goes to families of all those who unfortunately lost their lives and wishing speedy recovery to people who are seriously injured."

Meanwhile, police officers have reportedly been deployed to the area to restore security around taxi ranks. 

Police have confirmed that the victims were hitchhikers and were not involved in the taxi industry.