Taxi violence: Metro police officer wounded in shootout, Cape Town says no looting has taken place

A City of Cape Town Metro Police officer was shot and wounded in a taxi violence-related incident on Wednesday morning, 14 July. The wounded officer was among a group of law enforcement members that were engaging suspects that allegedly shot at taxis driving along Jakes Gerwel Drive.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security (MayCo), JP Smith, said the metro police officer was shot in the Sweet Home Informal Settlement on Wednesday morning.

“The officer was among a group of Metro Police and [South African Police Service] officers giving chase after a group of suspects who had been shooting at taxis along Jakes Gerwel Drive,” said Smith.

The officer suffered a bullet wound to the leg and received medical attention. The Sweet Home Informal Settlement shooting incident was one of many incidents today as the taxi conflict in the Western Cape continues – a number of people have been killed recently.

JP Smith
JP Smith. Photo: City of Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN STATION INCIDENT

A “dispute” between taxi drivers at the Cape Town Station taxi deck led to approximately 60 people running into the nearby Golden Acre Shopping Mall. The panic led many to believe that the unrest in other parts of South Africa had found its way to Cape Town. Smith and the Western Cape Premier dispute this.

“Shop owners closed all doors and law enforcement moved the crowd from the Mall,” said Winde. “This was not an attempt to loot but a response to the incident on the deck. No damage to property reported, and more information to be supplied by SAPS.”

The dispute Winde referred to was another shooting incident. Smith said that the City’s Traffic Service and Transport Enforcement Unit set up a checkpoint at the taxi rank after the shooting was reported.

“The City is aware that the Western Cape Transport Department has been engaging taxi organisations in a bid to stop the violence, and we urge operators to exercise restraint and resolve their differences through dialogue and not random shootings,” said Smith.

“Not only does it place a strain on enforcement resources, but also places innocent lives at risk and inconveniences commuters who are left stranded as taxi services are not operating normally.”

The MayCo member also stressed that the disruption was not related to the unrest in other parts of South Africa. However, he noted that “a small group” tried to gain entry into a local shopping complex in Khayelitsha but they were thwarted by Neighbourhood Watch members.

The City said its enforcement services are working in tandem with the police to increase patrols in “areas that could be considered targets or hot spots.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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