Police have interrogated several key men whom they suspect had a hand in the Colenso taxi massacre‚ which claimed the lives of 12 men at the weekend.
Speaking at a press briefing in Port Shepstone on Thursday‚ acting KZN police commissioner Nhlanhla Lucky Mkhwanazi said that several suspects had been taken in for questioning.
“We have taken in a few people for questioning and one appeared in court. We have good leads that we are working on as part of this investigation and we are positive that some of those we have taken in were involved in the shooting‚” he said.
A 35-year-old Sydenham man appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s court on Wednesday on charges of illegal possession of 73 rounds of AK-47 ammunition. He has been linked to the Colenso shooting.
Gunmen opened fire on a minibus taxi while it travelled on the R74 between the towns of Colenso and Weenen on Saturday. The taxi‚ ferrying drivers from the Ivory Park Taxi Association‚ had been peppered by automatic gunfire as it returned from a funeral at Ematimatolo in central KwaZulu-Natal.
Crime scene technicians who examined the vehicle recorded that more than 200 rounds had passed through the minibus. Eleven people died at the scene and another died later in hospital. Ten of those killed were taxi drivers from the Ivory Park Taxi Association in Midrand‚ Gauteng.
National police commissioner general Khehla Sitole‚ in response to the massacre‚ activated specialised units to track down and arrest the gunmen‚ giving them a deadline of 72 hours to do so.
“We are looking for more now and we want to recover the firearms‚” Mkhwanazi said. He would not be drawn to comment on where the men were arrested‚ saying simply that they were in the country.
Speaking alongside him‚ police minister Bheki Cele said that the arrests were proof that the 72-hour activation plan had paid dividends. “Our 72 hours did not run out without success so don’t tell me our system doesn’t work‚” he said.