15 Pensioners survive taxi hit

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

A taxi-load of pensioners narrowly escaped death when two pedestrians fired shots at the taxi they were travelling in in the KwaZulu-Natal Mislands.

The driver was killed and two passengers seriously wounded.

The pensioners were travelling to the Umbumbulu pension pay point in Eston to collect their monthly grants.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Henry Budhram said: "The police were summoned to the scene and found a minibus taxi on the side of the main road with bullet holes in the right front door.

"The investigations on the scene established that the taxi was transporting pensioners from nearby Umbumbulu to Mid-Illovu to collect their monthly pensions," he said.

According to Budhram eye-witnesses said when the taxi turned on to the Mid-Illovu road two unknown men, who were walking on the opposite side of the road, opened fire and forced the vehicle to veer sharply off the road before it came to a standstill.

"Our investigations confirmed that there were 15 passengers.

"The driver died and two passengers were injured. The gunmen drove away in a vehicle that was parked in the vicinity," he said.

"The motive for the shooting is unknown and the possibility that it could be linked to taxi violence cannot be ruled out. The incident is being investigated," he said.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said two critically wounded passengers were taken to a hospital in Pietermaritzburg for treatment and the other passengers were counselled.

The police urged anyone who might help with information in identifying the perpetrators to contact Captain Jabulani Dlamini on 082-418-2159 or 031-781-1710.