taxi driver shot dead

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A taxi driver died instantly and six passengers were seriously injured yesterday morning when unknown people fired at the vehicle.

Police spokesman Captain Jabulani Mdletshe confirmed the death of Nsizwa Ngubane, 34, in the attack on the N2 freeway in Mtubatuba, northern Zululand, at 10am.

He said the taxi was travelling from Nkonjane to Mtubatuba.

"Passengers (there were about 12 in the vehicle) told the police that a blue CitiGolf overtook the taxi and stopped in front of it," Mdletshe said.

"Four of its occupants, armed with guns, stepped from the car and opened fire on the taxi driver.

"A female passenger, who was also shot, was in a very critical condition when we arrived there."

Mdletshe said after the shooting the minibus veered off the road and landed in a ditch, seriously injuring six passengers.

Others sustained minor injuries.

The police could not link the shooting to ongoing taxi warfare in Hluhluwe.

"At this stage the motive of the shooting is unknown, Mdletshe said.

"But when we spoke to the brothers of the deceased they told us that the owner of the taxi is in custody in connection with taxi violence in Hluhluwe.

"We are still investigating."

KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance spokesman Willy Mbhense condemned the incident and called for stability in the industry.

"At this stage we don't know why the driver was killed," Mbhense said. "But whatever the reason, we call for peace.

"Killing each other will never resolve whatever differences we might have."

Meanwhile, a driver died after his truck caught fire on the N3 freeway on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, yesterday.

He burnt to death in the vehicle after a collision with another truck at about 8.30am, according to police spokesman Zinhle Mngomezulu.