Two squad patrollers belonging to the Nancefield Dube West (Nanduwe) taxi association were killed in a hail of bullets on Tuesday morning while sitting in the association’s vehicle.
Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said preliminary investigation suggests that three suspects approached the patrol vehicle and fired several shots, before they ran inside Nancefield hostel where they were allegedly picked up by a driver in a grey BMW sedan with unknown registration numbers.
Police and pathology services collected evidence at the scene shortly after the suspected hit believed to be linked to taxi wars.
Family members of the deceased could be seen crying and were too distraught to talk to the media.
The patrol car had over 15 bullet holes on both sides and the passenger side window had a huge splash of blood. The car was later driven away by a member of the association.
The police are investigating the motive, however, they suspect it is related to taxi violence.
Nanduwe and the Witwatersrand African Taxi Owners Association were involved in a feud over taxi routes last year. This led to five deaths, with the then Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi closing six routes for three months.
Police are appealing to anyone who might have information that can help in the investigation or assist in apprehending the suspects to call their nearest police station or crime stop.
Meanwhile, Rapid Railway police arrested four suspects between the ages of 24 to 31 for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition at Wanderers Taxi Rank corner Noord and Wanderers Street on the same day around 5 pm.
Captain Xoli Mbele of the Joburg Police said officers were busy with their routine crime prevention duties at the taxi rank when they saw two suspicious men standing on a queue to Klerksdorp.
He said when they saw police they move away from the queue and they were cornered.
“They searched them and recovered firearm in one of them and ammunition in another one.
In another incident in the same taxi rank, police also saw two suspicious males changing directions when they saw them. They were stopped and searched; police also recovered a firearm and ammunition from them.
“Firearms will be sent to ballistic testing to ascertain if they were used in the commission of serious and violent crimes.
Investigation is under way and suspects will appear soon in the Johannesburg Magistrate Court,“ he said.
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