Deaths related to taxi violence a blight on 2008

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

While taxi associations continue to point fingers at each other over route disputes, hundreds of innocent commuters are being robbed of their lives.

Though the number of reported incidents decreased this year, one lost life is still one too many.

lA KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal, taxi boss, his wife and daughter were killed at their home by unknown gunmen last Wednesday.

It is believed that the incident is related to the ongoing violence between the Cato Manor and Chesterville-Westville taxi associations.

Steven Moletsane, 55, a member of the Cato Manor Taxi Association, his wife Qondile Moletsane, 45, and their daughter Constance, 30, were on their way to a night vigil when they were killed outside their home.

They had apparently forgotten something at home and turned back. They were approached by two gunmen who fired several shots at them, killing them on the spot.

lSixteen people have been killed and 14 injured in drive-by shootings in Chatsworth alone in three years - but the police have yet to make a single arrest.

lFour taxi drivers were shot in a drive-by shooting when taxi violence erupted between the KwaNdengezi and the Zwelibomvu taxi associations.

Two of them were taken to hospital in a serious condition.

lIn another incident in the same area, drivers of the KwaNdengezi Taxi Association were attacked at their taxi rank.

lDurban's busy Warwick Triangle also witnessed a gunfight that left two taxi drivers wounded.

A taxi was set alight and several others damaged.

The injured drivers belonged to Clermont Taxi Association.

lOne driver sustained a bullet wound in the leg when his taxi and others were attacked at the Chesterville rank. He tried to flee but lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a nearby house.

lGerald Arumugam, 26, the brother of taxi boss Duncan Arumugam, was shot and wounded in Chatsworth.

lTwo taxi bosses were killed in Durban and their deaths were linked to the ongoing taxi violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

lEight taxi-related deaths were reported since the beginning of the year in Limpopo.

The provincial department of roads and transport said they had discovered corrupt dealings at the highest level with regard to how taxi associations run their affairs in the province. But no headway was made.

lBarely a day after well-known taxi boss Emmanuel Chango Raolane was gunned down in his bedroom in Bolobedu, Tzaneen, two taxi drivers were also shot dead in Sekhukhune.

The bodies of Andile Maetiso, 25, and Dion Lengoati, 35, were found with multiple gunshot wounds at Madiseng in the Greater Tubatse municipality.

Another taxi boss is also fighting for his life in hospital.

lTaxi bosses affiliated with the Clermont and KwaDabeka Taxi Association blamed 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 Latha, was shot dead and his passenger wounded in Reservoir Hills.

"A female passenger with him also sustained gunshot wounds in her legs but was reportedly in a stable condition in hospital," said police spokesman Muzi Mngomezulu.

lTwo taxi bosses were also gunned down at the Wyebank Taxi Rank in Pinetown.

The killings were believed to be linked to the ongoing "route dispute" between the Wyebank and Clermont taxi associations.