Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Police in KwaZulu-Natal are investigating the motive behind the gunning down of a taxi owner and his companion.

The two were killed in an ambush on a freeway on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast early yesterday morning.

The attack took place shortly after 3am. The names of the dead men have not been released at the time of going to press.

One of the deceased was identified as a taxi owner under the Umzinto Taxi Association.

Provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said the two men were travelling in a bakkie on the N2 north-bound freeway when they were followed by an unspecified vehicle.

"Near the Winkelspruit off-ramp, the occupants fired, apparently with AK-47 rifles," Mdunge said.

"The bakkie driver lost control and hit a tree before landing in a storm water canal."

He said that after the car came to a halt, the gunmen continued to fire shots at the occupants at close range.

"The suspects then pulled them out of their vehicle and fired more shots at them," said Mdunge.

He said the motive for the killing was still unknown.

"At this stage, we can't link the incident to taxi violence, but that possibility cannot be ruled out as nothing was taken from them.

"We hope preliminary investigations will shed some light on the motive for the killing," he said.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said both men, believed to be about 40, suffered several gunshot wounds and died at the scene.

Sowetan learnt that a 9mm pistol was also found on one of the victims and was taken by police for investigations.