Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A taxi driver was killed and four others are fighting for their lives in a Durban hospital after violence erupted between the KwaNdengezi and the Zwelibomnvu taxi associations.

The victims were shot in two separate drive-by shooting incidents yesterday.

Police believe the attacks are related to taxi violence.

The violence has left commuters stranded because of the strike by 800 Durban bus drivers.

The shooting began just after midnight when a group of unknown men fired in the direction of the Zwelibomnvu association's taxi drivers.

Two drivers with gunshot wounds were taken to hospital in a serious condition.

In another incident in the same area at about 4am, drivers of the KwaNdengezi taxi association were attacked at their taxi rank.

A group of unknown men shot at drivers who were parked at the rank. One driver died on the scene while two others were seriously hurt.

The dead driver, who cannot be named until his family has been notified, had been shot in the head.

A commuter who did not want to be named said he heard about the shooting incident while walking to the taxi rank at about 5.30am.

"We thought the taxi violence was over," he said. "Our lives are at risk but we have no choice.

"We are forced to use taxis, even if it kills us."

Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge yesterday said they had no idea what had prompted the violence.

"In recent months the two associations were at war over routes but the transport department intervened and the matter was resolved, Mdunge said. "We have not yet established the motive for the latest shooting."

Mdunge said the dead man was 28 years old and that his next of kin were still to be contacted.

Mdunge said he was confident that the attackers would be arrested soon.

"Judging from the successes of the taxi task team we are confident that the people responsible will be brought to book soon," he said.

Taxi bosses were tightlipped, saying they did not have enough information to comment.