a nother taxi boss is killed

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Taxi bosses affiliated to the Clermont and KwaDabeka Taxi Association are blaming the police for not treating as top priority investigations involving those responsible for killing taxi operators.

This after yet another taxi boss belonging to the association, Bhekinkosi "Mfanobovu" Latha, a Durban taxi operator owning four taxis, was shot dead and his passenger wounded in Reservoir Hills on Tuesday night.

Police spokesman Muzi Mngomezulu said Latha was travelling in a white Toyota Corolla on the M19 when the shooting took place.

He said 14 shots were fired at him and his passenger.

"A female passenger who was with him also sustained gunshot wounds to her legs and was reportedly in a stable condition in hospital," said Mngomezulu.

Police found AK-47 spent cartridges at the scene.

No arrests had been made.

"At this stage we cannot say whether the killing is related to the ongoing taxi violence in the province, but we are not ruling out that possibility," he said.

Five taxi bosses from the association have been killed this year alone.

Gcina Nyakatha, a taxi boss within the association, said almost each month a taxi boss is killed, and that not even a single suspect had been arrested for the killings.

"We are very worried and angered by the police's incompetence to bring to book the people responsible for perpetrating violence in this indus try," said Nyakatha.

He said they were blaming the police for not taking the killings of taxi operators seriously.

Nyakatha said at this stage they could not say Latha's killing was related to the disputes they had with other associations over routes.

"In all the five incidents since February, only one incident proved to be related to taxi violence, while we cannot say if the rest are taxi violence-related since the police are failing to investigate properly," said Nyakatha.

He believed that if the law was biting enough, and putting behind bars the people that are responsible for the killings, the taxi violence would stop.

"Only cases involving the killings of high-profile citizens in this country are taken seriously, and that is the reason why there is violence in this industry," he said.

The Cleremont and KwaDabeka Taxi Association serves hundreds of commuters from the KwaDabeka, Clermont, Westville, Durban and Westmead areas.