Byline: Refeloe Letsoisa

09 September 2022

A group of more than thirty (30) people from around Govan Mbeki Municipality embarked on a trip to Bela-Bela in Limpopo to welcome the spring season.

Saturday, 03 September 2022 was the day of the trip and two (2) taxis were organized to pick them up at different pick-up points.

The two (2) taxis arrived safely at the destination and people enjoyed their day there.

On their way back to Mpumalanga, the two taxi drivers allegedly asked passengers to change taxis, some went in the same taxi they travelled with when they went to Limpopo, and some had changed to another taxi.

According to the information given to Seskhona Media by the eyewitnesses and other passengers who were in the taxi, the driver slowly stopped the taxi on the side at N12 from Delmas to Leandra (Leslie) road between at about 8pm.

Passengers got off the taxi, some were dancing to the music meanwhile some decided to relieve themselves on the side of the road.

The driver also went out of the taxi after stopping it.

Two (2) men were said to have emerged from nowhere and approached the passengers outside the taxi, one had a gun also covered his face using a balaclava and the other one had a knife but had not covered his face.

The taxi had fifteen (15) adults and two (2) children, one child is less than a year old and the other one is around 4-5 years old.

The hijacker with a knife grabbed one woman and held her roughly as he demanded to be given phones, money, and everything in the taxi.

The woman started fighting back whereby the hijacker got angry and stabbed her at the back of her head.

The passengers were confused about what was happening but started getting scared when they heard a gunshot from outside the taxi.

The two (2) alleged robbers threatened the passengers and demanded to be given everything in the taxi.

Allegedly, some phones were still with the driver, and he handed them to the robbers.

“That’s very good because you just saved everyone from dying,” said one alleged robbers.

Although, the robbers promised not to do anything to the children.

They also threatened to rape all women and even murder one man from the taxi but luckily, none of that was done to the passengers.

After the robbers took everything, they allegedly instructed the driver to drive back to where they have left their car and the other people who work with them.

By then, it was around 10pm, when the robbers gave back the taxi keys to the driver, they also gave him the directions on how to get back home from where they were.

“We will follow your taxi so don’t try anything stupid,” said one of them.

“I advise other taxi drivers not to stop their taxis at the bushes or at a dark and creepy place under any circumstances as it is very dangerous for everyone in the taxi,” said one passenger.

One of the passengers who managed to hide his phone tried contacting the emergency assistance (112) to assist them, but they kept asking a lot of questions and didn’t even help them.

When the taxi got to the highway again, they saw police vans there and told the police officers of what had happened, the police officers advised them to report the case at Delmas police station.

When the taxi got to Leandra, they accompanied the lady who was stabbed to the clinic and the nurses helped by stitching her.

“I feel like this incident was planned because we never asked the driver to stop on the side because we had just left the petrol station and the driver had a bag full of some of the phones,” said a passenger.

The passengers are still trying to open a case though the driver asked them not to because the taxi owner was not aware of trip, and he does not want the taxi to be taken for investigation matters.

Only one passenger was injured but the rest got back home safely.

“I know the whole thing was planned, the driver pulled over and no one had asked him.

The next thing we are being robbed, and why was the taxi not taken because we all know hijackers would have taken the taxi,” said another passenger.