A Bolt driver opened fire on his passengers killing one and wounding another. The third passenger managed to hide only to be arrested for hijacking attempt. The tragedy could have been avoided, had the men refrained from joking about robbing the taxi driver.
According to the police reports, Sanele Mthethwa ordered a taxi after celebrating his 38th birthday with friends in New Germany, near Pinetown. When the car arrived, he took the front seat, his brother, Saneliso Mbuyazi, 23, sat behind the driver, and a friend, Sakhile Mafumo, 32, took the seat behind Mthethwa.
None of the men were armed, yet, Mthethwa told the motorist he would rob him. The driver did not take the threat as a joke.
“The ever-alert driver took his firearm and shot one suspect in the head. He died at the scene. He fired two more shots, which hit the second suspect. The third suspect hid on the back seat,” provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed.
It was the birthday man who died in the car. Mafumo was shot twice but survived by escaping from the car. He was later taken to hospital.
The motorist then drove to the KwaDabeka police station, where the police officers found Mbuyazi hiding on the back seat. They arrested him on hijacking charges.
Meanwhile, the e-hailing app-based company the driver worked for has suspended him. Gareth Taylor, Bolt SA’s country manager claimed that they did not encourage drivers to carry firearms.
“The profile of the driver implicated in the investigation has been suspended while Bolt’s High-Profile Team supports the SAPS in its investigation into the incident. The driver may or may not be reinstated, depending on the outcome of the SAPS investigation,” he commented.
“Bolt is constantly looking for ways to improve driver and rider safety and currently includes an in-app integrated SOS emergency button that shares the driver’s details and location with Namola’s 24/7 call centre, when activated,” Taylor added.