Fleeing mother latest victim

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

A young mother on her way to work was caught in the crossfire when bullets flew between two warring taxi associations in Diepkloof, Soweto, yesterday.

Phindi Bangeni, 30, was on her way to work in Johannesburg when she was shot and killed a few metres from the Bara Taxi Rank in Zone 6, Diepkloof.

The gunfight involved the rival Meadowlands-Dube-Noord Taxi Association (MDN) and the Bara-Meadowlands Taxi Association, which are feuding over the Meadowlands route.

Taxi-owner Amon Zulu, of the BaraMeadowlands group, said the feud had been bubbling since 1996.

"It got worse and we went to the transport registrar's office," Zulu said.

"Yesterday we met at the registrar's office and the drivers from MDN said today they would come and do what they thought was right.

"I know the people who shot the woman and can point them out at any time," Zulu said.

The office of transport registrar Thami Ngwenya said he would only be available for comment today.

An eyewitness, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was in the changing room of a fuel station when the shots erupted.

He and a colleague heard the gunshots and ran out to see what was happening.

"We saw three taxi drivers with pump-action guns chasing two guys. They were shooting randomly.

"The woman was on her way to the taxi rank. She turned around and ran. That is when she was shot," the witness said.

Bangeni's brother Jabulani said that his sister was the family's breadwinner and that she had an eight-year-old son.

"Why do these people have to fight in the streets? They know each other and should shoot each other in their houses."

Captain Philliemon Khorombi said one man was arrested and would soon appear in court.

"We are looking for other suspects but we are not sure how many there are."

Attempts to get comment from MDN were unsuccessful.