Gogo and her granddaughter caught in taxi shoot out crossfire

Everson Luhanga

Linda Hadebe described the taxi shoot out as something like a scene from a violent film.

The woman from Dobsonville in Soweto was riding in a taxi with her 10-year-old granddaughter on Thursday when shooting broke out. They were caught in a crossfire between rival taxi associations.

She said men sprung out of the speeding taxis and started shooting at taxis belonging to a rival association in broad daylight. 

“It was unbelievable. A lot of people stood frozen watching the two taxi associations fighting, allegedly over routes,” she said.

Hadebe said she was with more than five other passengers in the taxi who all dropped to the ground as shooters opened fire at the vehicle.

“While I sat there being missed by bullets, I prayed to my ancestors to spare my life.

“It was the most unprecedented situation I have ever found myself in, in my entire life. I don’t want to see myself like that ever again,” she said.

As bullet after bullet rained upon the car, it felt like an age before the police arrived.

“My biggest fear was to be mistaken for people who were fighting. 

“Soon a police officer told the driver of our taxi to leave the place as it was getting worse. The officer told the driver to drive straight to save the lives of his passengers,” recalled Hadebe.

“That’s how we were saved,” she said.

Several people were injured in the incident and rushed to nearby clinics and hospitals. A total of five taxis were burnt.

Hadebe said her 10-year-old grandchild has been struggling to sleep ever since the incident.

Hadebe says she can still hear the sound of the bullets hitting the taxi, and she keeps seeing men running with firearms whenever she closes her eyes to sleep.

The dramatic scene is just the latest in a spate of incidents of taxi violence in Gauteng.