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MURDER SCENE

Student caught in crossfire is one of three dead in Braamfontein shooting

Student caught in crossfire is one of three dead in Braamfontein shooting
Two taxi businessmen and a student caught in the crossfire were shot dead in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Thursday afternoon. One of the deceased lies covered next to the vehicle he had been sitting inside on the corner of Bertha and Jorissen streets.( Photo: Rufaro Chiswo)

Three people died and another was wounded in a shooting in the centre of Braamfontein on Thursday afternoon. The incident, which killed two taxi owners and a student, is said to be unrelated to the taxi business, according to an industry insider.

WARNING: Photographs may distress readers.

‘He said he would come back to me!” cried the wife of one of two taxi businessmen shot and killed in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Thursday afternoon, 29 February. Two students travelling in a bus were caught in the crossfire, with one dying on the scene.

braamfontein shooting

Police cordoned off the scene of the shooting on the corner of Bertha and Jorissen streets. (Photo: Rufaro Chiswo)

Daily Maverick was on a separate assignment a few metres from the scene, on the corner of Jorrissen and Bertha streets, when we heard a round of gunshots and witnessed a sea of students running towards the University of the Witwatersrand. Police arrived shortly afterwards to cordon off the area. 

The body of one of the victims, a middle-aged taxi owner, was hanging from the back window of a BMW 320 as blood dripped from his head. The driver of the vehicle, a taxi rank manager, was also shot dead in the car.

The vehicle had been parked opposite the Wits Art Museum, where a third person had left the vehicle to fetch a colleague at the nearby Braamfontein Total Garage. The shooting took place shortly after the person exited the vehicle.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Murder on the rise in South Africa’s ‘big four’ provinces

A taxi owner and member of an association affiliated with the deceased, who asked not to be named for safety reasons, told Daily Maverick that the two men had just left a meeting of the Bree Street branch of the Faraday Taxi Association, where operational matters were discussed.

“They left saying they are going to Fourways to go and oversee operations in that area.

braamfontein shooting

Police cordoned off the scene of the shooting on the corner of Bertha and Jorissen streets as onlookers gathered. (Photo: Rufaro Chiswo)

“We have a joint venture between the Router Association in Randburg and Faraday there. But there was nothing peculiar, just standard procedure – also assessing the marshalls and whether they were doing their job. But before that, they went looking for a place where we could park our taxis as well. It wasn’t too long after we had gone our separate ways that we received the call saying [the shooting had happened],” the owner said. 

He said the two men were gentlemen and carried out their work very well, with one of them being very direct about addressing any issues through discussion. He said the men were not violent. 

Daily Maverick understands that the two shooters were in a white Toyota Fortuner. The car, with a Limpopo registration, had overtaken another vehicle and started shooting, an eyewitness said.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Murders most foul – South Africa is spiralling downwards

Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said: “It is reported that on the afternoon of 29 February 2024, unknown suspects shot two men who were inside a parked vehicle and during the shooting a university bus was also caught [in] the crossfire leading to two students being shot.

“Both the men in the vehicle and one student were declared dead while the other student was taken to the nearest hospital for medical treatment. The motive of the shooting is subject to police investigation and a case of murder and attempted murder is opened. No one has been arrested.”

The University of Johannesburg issued a statement saying the deceased student was an 18-year-old in his second year at the institution. The two students were travelling from campus to their residences in the Johannesburg city centre. The university said it was in contact with the families of the two students and was providing counselling to students on the bus.

Heavy police presence

Students and workers in Braamfontein crowded the crime scene, which saw the surrounding block cordoned off. A heavy police presence was on site and ambulances and forensic pathologists swarmed the area as the Johannesburg Metro Police Department redirected traffic. 

Amid this scene, the family of one of the deceased arrived. His wife let out a painful wail and cried inconsolably from the moment she stepped out of the car in the late afternoon until early evening. She collapsed twice; first shortly after her arrival, and later on, her way to see her husband’s body.

Her family’s attempts to calm her failed as she cried that the victim had said he would come back to her. The rest of the family, including a boy of about nine, who appeared to be the victim’s son, were clearly shattered by the events and were also in tears. 

The taxi owner who spoke to Daily Maverick said the association and the joint venture had no disputes that could have caused the shooting, leaving him at a loss as to the motive.

He said: “Taxi wars here are a thing of the past; it is done. We do not fight people like this. 

“I cannot say that this is going to cause a war because usually that is started by conflict and that is something we do not have at the moment. However, it could be that this was caused by something unrelated to the taxi business because you don’t know whose toes people may have stepped on in their personal lives.” DM

Anyone who may have information that can assist with the investigation or tracing of the suspects is requested to contact the Crime Stop Line at 08600 10111 or report anonymous tip-offs on MySapsApp.

For emergency counselling via telephone, please contact the Wits Student Crisis Line on 0800 111 331 (toll-free 24/7/365). Kaelo is available for staff support.

The University [of Johannesburg ] is providing counselling to students who were on the bus at the time of the shooting. It has urged all affected students to contact the university’s Centre for Psychological Services as soon as they can on [email protected].

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Lavinia Schlebusch says:

    Correction, two taxi owners were not killed; but two taxi DRIVERS were killed. The owners of the taxis are big fat cats, literally, sitting in their mansions pulling in millions of Rands a month from the biggest unregulated cash industry in the country.
    These taxi owners own dozens of taxis apiece, all the revenue collected is in cash and SARS sees very little of what they ought to be receiving, because most of it is undeclared.
    And this sh*t show of a farse continues because these taxi owners deliver big bags of cash to the ANC for them to look the other way and not dare to impose regulations, or, gawd forbid a token system with which to monitor how much money gets passed from commuters to drivers to owners.
    It’s beyond insane that the taxi industry gets away with their cosy cash industry on such a large scale.

    • William Dryden says:

      Lavinia you are totally correct in what you said, the ANC are turning a blind eye to it all as ministers are involved and even own taxi’s. Treavor Emannuel even said years ago that even though they don’t pay tax on their earnings, they pay tax indirectly with the spares and petrol they buy. How is that from the minister of Finance.

  • Mike Schroeder says:

    Eish DM, your photo texts (once again or as always?)
    Viz the photo subtexted “Police cordoned off the scene of the shooting on the corner of Bertha and Jorissen streets as onlookers gathered. (Photo: Rufaro Chiswo)” — not one police officer to be seen, not one police cordon to be seen, instead people milling around on the street
    Is it so difficult to get a photo editor that can actually do her/his job?

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    The ANC is the cause of every single problem we see in South Africa today.

    You can help save our country for everyone.

    Vote DA.

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