Taxi driver shot dead after nyaope clean-up operation goes wrong

An addict displays how he injects the deadly concoction into his blood stream.
An addict displays how he injects the deadly concoction into his blood stream.

A taxi driver has been killed during a protest which erupted in the Pretoria inner city after taxi operators tried to forcefully remove nyaope youth from the streets.

Tshwane MMC of transport Sheila Senkubuge said parts of the inner city came to a standstill as six vehicles were seized by disgruntled protestors on Tuesday afternoon.

“A shooting which resulted in the death of a taxi driver is reported to have incited the riots, which led to two A Re Yeng buses, three Tshwane Bus Service [TBS] buses, a Gautrain bus and two trucks being utilised to blockade the roads. A Re Yeng and TBS operations were halted for the rest of the day in the interest of safety,” said Senkubuge.

Feeder routes of the city’s bus service were among the affected public transport routes as riots unfolded in the vicinity of Bloed Mall. Affected streets included Sisulu, Boom and Soutpansberg Streets.

Senkubuge said the buses that were seized were not damaged.

She condemned the shooting. “The taking of a human life is never justified and the perpetrators of this murder and unlawful usage of public transport vehicles must be made accountable for these crimes,” Senkubuge said.

Sowetan understands that a group of taxi operators decided to clean the city’s streets of "nyaope boys" after learning that taxi drivers were now using the drugs.

It is unclear whether the group was made up of taxi drivers or owners, but the group pounced on one of the spots where the drugs were sold.

According to sources, people believed to be police officers were found by the taxi operators involved in the selling of the drugs. Shots were then fired which resulted in the death of the taxi driver. Incited by the shooting, angry taxi operators then used the city’s buses to block traffic  to “deal” with the nyaope boys.