Taxi Operators To Face ‘Drastic’ Action For Storming Police Station

Mbombela (Nelspruit) – The South African Police Service (SAPS) says “drastic and firm action” will be taken against a group of 23 taxi operators who stormed into Witbank Police Station and demanded the release of a murder suspect.

The taxi operators stormed into the police station on Monday evening, (20 March 2023), at about 18:00.

Commenting on the matter, SAPS Acting Mpumalanga Commissioner Major General Zeph Mkhwanazi said: “We cannot tolerate a situation whereby police officers are threatened to discharge their official duties”.

Major General Mkhwanazi added: “Drastic and firm action will definitely be taken against such individuals.

“This country is governed by laws and it will never happen that we allow lawlessness to take place.

“People who have information about criminality then they should report to the authorities.”

The incident was a continuation of the drama that began last week on Wednesday, (15 March 2023), when a group of taxi operators went to Klarinet in Witbank and allegedly abducted and severely assaulted two men accused of theft.

One of the men, identified as 29-year-old Sfiso Dube, unfortunately, succumbed to his injuries.

The other one was admitted to the hospital.

SAPS said a case of murder with an additional charge of attempted murder was opened.

The case is being investigated by a team of experts in the field of investigation.

On Sunday, (19 March 2023), SAPS investigators were led to a certain house in Witbank after obtaining information on the whereabouts of the suspect

“Upon noticing the members approaching, he reportedly ran out of the house holding an object resembling a firearm, which he allegedly used to point at one of the members,” narrated Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

“Apparently, that was when the police reportedly shot at the suspect who sustained some injuries on the lower body.

“The 33-year-old male suspect was then arrested.

“At that point, police learned that the object they confiscated from his possession was a toy gun.”  

The suspect is due to appear in the Emalahleni Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, 22 March 2023 facing a charge of murder and attempted murder.

However, the following day, Monday evening, (20 March 2023), the taxi operators arrived at Witbank Police Station in four minibus taxis and caused a commotion outside the premises.

“They reportedly threatened the management of the station and further demanded for the release of the suspect in the murder and attempted murder case,” said spokesperson Brigadier Mohlala.

“In response to their demands, the group was informed that it was not possible and they were ordered to immediately leave the station but the group refused to do so.

“Instead of leaving, they became violent and began to pelt stones at the SAPS premises.

“That was when members reacted thereby ensuring that all of them are arrested and charged for public violence.”