Taxi boss claims innocence

McKeed Kotlolo

Pretoria taxi boss Montgomery Matenji is haunted by the death of his friend who was gunned down while chatting with him in his car a week ago.

Matenji, who is deputy chairman of the Atteridgeville-Saulsville Taxi Association, said since Hosia Sithole's death there have been rumours that he might have had a hand in his murder.

Sithole, a taxi-owner, was shot dead near Matenji's house on June 23. Matenji escaped with minor injuries.

Matenji said Sithole called him on the day of his murder requesting to meet with him at his house.

He arrived at Matenji's house in Manaka Street at about 6pm. Matenji said during their meeting Sithole told him about an impending R40000 lawsuit brought against him by a former local taxi official.

"We were still chatting when suddenly there was a volley of shots fired at us from a passing car," said Matenji.

"I managed to jump on to the back seat. I opened the door when the shooting subsided and ran into my house to call the police."

He said Sithole's murder was not related to the taxi violence.

"I was not involved in this evil deed. I have already given a statement to the police. I also told the cops about what happened at the murder scene after the shooting."

Police spokesman Paul Ramaloko said no arrests had been made, but police were following leads that might help in their investigation.