The Eastern Cape provincial government confirmed that 7 people have been killed in Mount Ayliff after 10 men allegedly clashed with a group from a nearby village in a local taxi route dispute.
Eastern Cape taxi route dispute
Six others were injured and have been rushed to the hospital to receive medical attention. It is believed that a group of ten men from Mpheni village attacked another group from Nokhatshile village.
Provincial government spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha told Citizen the “fight between these two groups is believed to have been caused by factional disputes of local taxi associations”. Sicwetsha added:
“Our information is that seven men were killed and six men were injured and rushed to the hospital. Members of the South African police have been dispatched to the scene to conduct investigations so that they can get to the bottom of this crime”.
Area still ‘tense’ following taxi dispute
Furthermore, Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi said the situation in the area is tense and ordered for reinforcements to ensure the area is secured.
Mfazi urged the residents in the Mount Ayliff and surrounding districts “to exercise maximum restraint and to assist police in their investigations to bring those responsible for these attacks to book”.
Authorities are appealing to anyone who has information about the incident to contact the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) on 086 00 10111 or through the MySAPSApp.
He assures potential informants that all information will be treated “with the strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous”.
Eastern Cape festive season operation
This incident follows after members of the South African Police Service arrested 117 people for a number of crimes over the festive season. Colonel Sibongile Soci said in a statement:
“Ahead of the annual Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour by the Minister of Police to the Eastern Cape to assess the effectiveness of Safer Festive Season plans put in place to ensure that residents and holidaymakers are and feel safe during the holiday season and beyond, 693 rounds of ammunition and 72 firearms (49 revolvers/pistols, 15 rifles and 8 shotguns) were seized while 1 117 suspects were arrested for various crimes from 13 to 21 December 2020”.
Authorities also clamped down on livestock theft, which is particularly rife during the festive season. Officers recovered 41 cattle, 22 goats and 19 sheep, while 23 suspected stolen vehicles were also confiscated.
Read more here: Over 1 000 arrested during Eastern Cape festive season operation