Trio face murder rap

THREE taxi operators, all members of the Nongoma Taxi Association, appeared briefly in the Nongoma magistrate's court yesterday on two charges of murder.

THREE taxi operators, all members of the Nongoma Taxi Association, appeared briefly in the Nongoma magistrate's court yesterday on two charges of murder.

The case against Muziweshinga Sithole, 43, Sifiso Xulu, 38, and Mzokhona Dlame, 38, was postponed to July 29 for a formal bail application.

The three were arrested last Sunday after intensive investigations by the police after the killing of three people - two taxi operators and a civilian - in the area three weeks ago.

The killings resulted in provincial MEC for transport, community and liaison Bheki Cele suspending all taxi operations in the area.

Cele said he had suspended operations in terms of a 2007 agreement between feuding operators that the provincial department of transport would have to intervene if violence continued in the Nongoma area.

Meanwhile, taxis in the area ran smoothly and normal yesterday after Cele's promise. Most commuters and passengers who spoke to Sowetan expressed satisfaction about the return of the taxis. Cele announced on Tuesday that he was lifting the ban and kept his promise.

"We are glad that taxis are back. We suffered during the shut down," said Phillip Mthethwa.

College student Nkosingiphile Buthelezi shared Mthethwa's sentiments.

"We lost three weeks of schooling because of the suspension and we are extremely happy that the taxis are finally back," said Buthelezi.

X