Police deployed in Umlazi after taxi violence

Friday, November 6, 2009

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal government has deployed a special police protection team in Umlazi, south of Durban, following the recent taxi violence there.

MEC for Transport, Community and Liaison Willies Mchunu said the NMR Taxi Route in Umlazi will be closely monitored by the special team until calm is restored.

"I have held high level briefings with relevant stakeholders, including top police bosses, to solve this taxi violence. While consultations and information gathering continues, the NMR Taxi Route will be placed under a special police protection.

"We have deployed the public order police in the area. They are on the ground as we speak. More police officers are set to be deployed in the route as soon as some logistics are taken care of," said Mchunu.

The department said the NMR taxi rank remains open for business under police supervision.

On Thursday, three taxis were set alight in Umlazi. According to police spokesperson Superintendent Buhle Ngidi, the taxis were parked at Ezindongeni taxi rank in M section in Umlazi.

"Police believed that there was a shooting, 17 empty shells of a 9mm pistol were found on the scene," said Ngidi.

He said police suspected that the incident was related to violence linked to the NMR Taxi Route.

"At the moment, no arrests have been made, police are still investigating," said Ngidi.

In September, Mchunu announced the appointment of a private investigator to determine the root cause of the ongoing taxi-related deaths and injuries along the Umlazi NMR taxi route.