KwaZulu-Natal police have been commended for the arrest of 16 people in connection with taxi violence and the recovery of a number of firearms.
A group of heavily armed men travelling in a Toyota Quantum minibus taxi stormed the taxi rank in Brook Street, Durban on Friday.
Police say they fired multiple gunshots and sped off. Three people were seriously injured and taken to hospital for medical attention and a 56-year-old later passed away.
The suspects fled towards Pinetown when a police officer from the Pinetown Task Team spotted the vehicle and gave chase. The suspects opened fire at him and he retaliated.
No injuries were sustained and the suspects abandoned their vehicle and ran into a building in Pinetown.
The National Intervention Unit was called in which led to the arrest of the 16 suspects and the recovery of 17 firearms which include nine rifles, a shotgun and seven pistols.
The firearms will be subjected to ballistic testing to ascertain if they were used in any other pending cases.
The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa commended the swift response by police.
“In this province, we will not tolerate any violence especially relating to taxi industry as members of the community are normally caught during the exchange of gunfire. We work diligently to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book,” he said.
The suspects, who are due to appear in court soon, will be charged with murder and attempted murder, including the shooting of a police officer in Pinetown as well as for illegal possession of firearms.