driver shot in foot, kids survive bullet

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Three people, including two children under the age of seven, have escaped gunfire with their lives in unrelated incidents in Mpumalanga.

A taxi driver is in a critical condition at the Mapulaneng Hospital following an incident in which one of his passengers shot him in the foot on Tuesday at about 7pm.

Apparently, the taxi driver had an argument with five passengers who refused to pay him the R8 fare from Thulamahashe to Rolle Trust, offering to pay him R4 instead. They argued that the distance from where he had picked them was too short for the fare he was demanding.

Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane said that during the argument one of the passengers produced a firearm and shot the driver in the foot.

"The passengers ran away and the driver was taken to hospital by motorists who found him screaming for help," said Khoabane.

Police said no arrests have been made in connection with the incident, but investigations were continuing.

Meanwhile, two children who were asleep at their home in Thulamahashe township, near Bushbuckridge, escaped being hurt when a bullet ripped through the roof, missing both by inches.

Khoabane said the children did not have any idea of what had happened.

"It was only when they screamed for help that the elders rushed to the bedroom and made the discovery, because the bullet had even hit the floor leaving a big mark.

Khoabane said police investigations were continuing to establish who had fired the shot.

"Some members of the community told us there were people in the neighbourhood who usually fire shots in the air for no apparent reason and we are totally against that," Khoabane said.

"We have not yet arrested anyone, but are hoping to do so soon,"