Five people were killed and two sustained bullet wounds on Sunday night in two separate incidents that police suspect might be linked to the ongoing rivalry between Soweto taxi associations over route ownership.
Police spokesman Kay Makhubela said the first attack occurred in Meadowlands where a taxi owner was ambushed at home.
The attackers opened fire on the victim as he was about to enter his yard. A bystander was caught in the firing line. Both men died at the scene and the suspects fled on foot.
The second attack took place in Tshepisong where two taxi operators and a passenger were shot dead.
“In Tshepisong, the Siyaya taxi had passengers [inside] when it was blocked by an identified Quantum transporting armed men, who demanded car keys and forced passengers out of the Siyaya.
“Passing taxis tried to intervene and that is when the armed men opened fire and killed two taxi drivers at the scene. One passenger was killed in the shooting and two passengers are in a critical situation in hospital,” said Makhubela.
No arrests have been made in either case.
Taxi services were suspended in parts of Soweto on Monday, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
“We have opened two cases of murder and we are appealing to anyone with information relating to these killings to contact the nearest police station,” said Makhubela.