Calm returns to violence-hit rank as cops take control

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Police are maintaining a strong presence at Diepsloot taxi rank, north of Johannesburg, following two shooting incidents which claimed a taxi owner's life and left seven people critically wounded this week.

In the first attack inside the main rank, a taxi owner was killed and a passenger injured.

The second attack, in extension 5, left six people critically injured, one of them a taxi driver.

The shootings are believed to be related to the ongoing violence between two taxi associations - the Diepsloot Taxi Association and the Randburg United Long-Distance Taxi Association.

The feud started in 1997 when the government told the two rival groups to form one organisation. The groups amalgamated about a year later.

The main reason for the amalgamation was that they shared the same route. However, the latest attacks would seem to pose a serious setback to ultimate resolution of competing ambitions.

Police spokesman Inspector Katlego Mogale said the situation at the rank had returned to normal.

Commuters had been boarding taxis to their destinations without hassle.

"Police are patrolling the area to ensure there is no repeat of Monday's incidents," she said.

No arrests had yet been made and police said their investigations were continuing.