JOHANNESBURG – In the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Colenso in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, the police are adamant they’ll get who’s responsible.
Eleven people were shot dead and another four wounded in an ambush by an unknown number of gunmen on Saturday night.
No less than 255 bullet holes on the vehicle. Amazingly, two survive unharmed.
They were returning to Gauteng from a funeral for a taxi boss who was among three people gunned down in Tembisa in Gauteng last week.
National Police Commissioner, Khehla Sitole, says it’s simply too early to have established a motive for the mass killing.
But, he admits it’s difficult to ignore the likelihood that it’s another internal taxi industry feud.
“Actually yes, I am not ruling that out. On a scale of one to ten, I give it eight. But at the same time when you get deeper into it, it is the families who are involved, but within the taxi fraternity. But we do not want to prematurely go on to a conclusion,” said Sitole.
KwaZulu-Natal is a problem province for the police.
Taxi violence, political killings, and the dubious reputation for being the home of South Africa’s hit squads, await the recently appointed provincial commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
“There is a national intervention now in KwaZulu-Natal with regard to the murders [political killings]. That provincial commissioner got in and put systems in place and they also took the stabilisation in and he’s hard at work. You will be seeing the difference soon because we are in action there,” Sitole said.
Tracking down the killers will require help not only from communities but speaking to the two unharmed survivors whose safety is now crucial.
“Of course they are shocked and those who are in hospitals. The unknown hospitals, they are being attended to. The police has made it a point that there is protection for those who are hospitalised to ensure their safety,” said Mxolisi Kaunda, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety, Liaison.
The police have given themselves 72 hours, using multiple national resources, to make a breakthrough in the case.