Two taxi men shot dead in renewed route violence

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Two taxi bosses were gunned down yesterday morning at the Wyebank taxi rank in Pinetown near Durban.

The killings are believed to be linked to the ongoing "route dispute" between the rival Wyebank and Claremont taxi associations.

Captain Bongani Khomo of KwaDabeka police said the incident took place at 7.30am at the Wyebank taxi rank near a high school.

"All we can say is that two men, presumed to be taxi operators, were shot dead," he said.

Provincial MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, Bheki Cele, condemned the incident, saying it was ruining the peace and stability established by all stakeholders.

"We condemn this barbaric killing and hope that law enforcement officers will work around the clock to arrest the culprits," he said.

Cele said officials from his department held two meetings - one between taxi officials and law enforcement units, and another later between the officials and the two associations.

"We should hopefully have some leads into the killings by the end of the day," Cele said.

Nobody from the two associations or the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance was available for comment as they were "engaged in negotiations".

Police visibility was increased in the area soon after the incident and Cele promised that speedy arrests would be effected.