The gunning down of a young taxi driver north of Durban has sparked fears of a backlash though leaders claim the incident was not taxi-related.
S'thembiso Ndlovu, 22, a member of Zamukulungisa Taxi Association (ZTA) in Ndwedwe, had eight bullets pumped into him on Monday night as he parked his vehicle.
Ndlovu's death comes five days after ZTA and its rival, Bhoolas Taxi Association (BTA), halted talks over the Bester to Verulam route.
Tension between ZTA and BTA resulted in a stand-off last Tuesday and a series of negotiations have failed to resolve the situation.
ZTA chairman Robert Hlela said the killing had angered all its members and hurt them deeply.
"I am very hurt by the way he was killed. Every member is in mourning. We don't know why he was killed, but it doesn't seem to be taxi-related. It looks like a criminal act because nothing was taken," said Hlela.
"I want to stress that Ndlovu's death has got nothing to do with the disputes," Hlela said.
Ndlovu's father Lawrence said the family had no idea why he was killed.
"I don't know who did this or why. He had no enemies or people who would want him dead. Whoever killed him really wanted him dead because he was shot several times at close range, and the fact that nothing was taken shows that they just wanted him dead," Ndlovu senior said.
Verulam police spokesman Captain Mandla Khumalo said the motive for the killing appeared to be criminal.
"It doesn't look like it was taxi-related because his girlfriend told us the killers told him they had been looking for him for a long time," said Khumalo.