In The News South Africa

Another KwaZulu-Natal taxi boss gunned down

DURBAN, April 3  – A taxi boss in KwaZulu-Natal was gunned down on Monday morning in the north of the province, police have said.

According to one of the province’s police spokespersons, Lieutenant-colonel Thulani Zwane, the incident took place at about 9am.

“[A] 40-year-old man was sitting in his Mercedes at Shakaskraal when he was approached by a group of suspects. They allegedly shot and killed him. The suspects fled the scene on foot after the incident. A case of murder was opened at Umhlali police station,” said Zwane.

KwaZulu-Natal has several hotspots – many on the north coast – known for taxi violence as various associations fight over lucrative  routes.

In February, a 50-year-old taxi boss was killed in the Tongaat area during a drive-by shooting, while last year, several such incidents took place throughout the province.

One of the province’s worst incidents took place in July last year when 12 people were massacred on the R74 in Colenso, also in the north of the province. Over 250 bullets were sprayed during the ambush.

The dead were members of the Ivory Park Taxi Association, based in Gauteng. They had been attending a funeral in Matimatolo, west of Ladysmith.

The attack sparked nationwide condemnation and led police minister Bheki Cele to establish a special task team to make quick arrests.

Disputes between rival taxi associations reached a climax in the Ladysmith area in 2017 when six people were killed in October and two more in November.

This led the province’s MEC for community safety and liaison, Mxolisi Kaunda, to suspend two routes in order to restore calm. The suspension ran into 2018. (ANA)

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