'TAXI strife behind slaying'

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The devastated family of ANC member and branch chairman Lucas Jiyane, who was shot dead on Tuesday, believe his killing was taxi-related.

Jiyane, 43, was gunned down in the driver's seat of his taxi in Dlangubo, outside Empangeni.

A total of 11 shots were fired at him, killing him instantly. He was alone in the taxi at the time.

His father, Mabhalane Jiyane, told Sowetan yesterday that they believe his son's death had nothing to do with politics.

"Though we are still waiting for the police to investigate his brutal killing, I don't think it was politically motivated, which we also cannot rule out.

"But deep down, I believe it was taxi-related," he said.

The dead man's father said as far as he knew, his son had no enemies.

"He was still new in the industry as he had bought his taxi a few months ago, but the taxi industry is very volatile.

"People are killed in this industry for no apparent reason, and the worst part is that even if perpetrators were arrested, they often go unpunished.

"I hope that it will not be the case with my son," said Jiyane senior.

Jiyane was killed less than 50 metres away from where the provincial MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, Bheki Cele, held a transport indaba in Esikhawini township, outside Empangeni.

Empangeni made headlines a few years ago as taxi violence ravaged the town, forcing the department of transport to shut down taxi operations in the area.

Cele visited the family and promised that those responsible for Jiyane's killing would be brought to book.

ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu described Jiyane as a rising star in politics in his area and within the ruling party.

He said a number of ANC leaders had received death threats before Jiyane's killing.