A road rage incident involving a motor vehicle accident between a taxi and a sedan belonging to a local businessman has led to public violence in Gqeberha on Wednesday.
According to an eyewitness, who did not want to be named for their safety, they saw the two men got into a verbal altercation which led to a fist-fight. One of the men, a Somali, pulled out a gun and shot the other man, presumed by onlookers to be a taxi driver.
It is understood that the incident led to clashes between taxi operators and a group of businessmen.
This led to eight taxis being set alight whilst two other taxis and a sedan were damaged, including some shops.
Gunshots were fired as violence broke out, causing pandemonium on Durban Road in Korsten, Gqeberha.
Pedestrians, shoppers and motorists fled in all directions to get to safety when the violence erupted.
Several shops were vandalised before the violence then spread to Kwazakhele where several more stores were torched.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu says no one was injured during the attacks and no arrests have been made.
— Vehicle Trackers (@VehicleTrackerz) October 13, 2021
This war in Gqeberha is far from over. Taxi drivers will retaliate. And all the provinces may be affected pic.twitter.com/L24mTLo3bH
— QENGEBA (@Qengeba_Jola_M) October 13, 2021
Bheki Cele Warns against violence and promises action after Gqeberha violence
Minister of Police Bheki Cele has pledged tough action against those responsible for violence in Korsten, Gqeberha.
Visiting the area on Thursday, Cele said police would deal with violence targeting foreign-owned businesses.
Cele also said the SAPS would also clamp down on illegal firearms in the area after shots were fired during the confrontation between two groups.
The Minister said, “We are told that Durban Road is notorious. We will be flooding police so that people do legal things.”
He added “We have to come with Home Affairs, South African Revenue Services and Customs so that all people who are here have papers to live in the country, and that all people doing business here pay taxes. We are going to be around here until things are normal.”
Cele also pledged to bring to book perpetrators of the violence in Gqeberha. He added that police had video footage of what happened and would use that to prosecute perpetrators.