PRIVATE SLEUTH SET ON VIOLENCE

KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu appointed a private investigator to probe taxi violence in Durban's Umlazi-NMR route.

KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu appointed a private investigator to probe taxi violence in Durban's Umlazi-NMR route.

The private investigator will ascertain the root causes of the ongoing taxi violence that has has claimed five lives.

Five others suffered severe injuries over the past four months. No one has been arrested, so far.

Mchunu met taxi operators of the Umlazi-NMRroute as a "last ditch effort" to bring order and stability after five murders and five injuries occurred since June.

The appointment of a private investigator follows that of a provincial police task team assembled to conduct special investigation into the unsolved murders.

The team was appointed amid claims of police negligence including allegations that at some stage one officer was caught fiddling with evidence on the crime scene.

Mchunu said a private investigator will also look into numerous allegations, chief among these being the alleged existence of hitmen, police ineptitude, and the contribution of leadership squabbles to the current conflict within the NMR taxi association ranks.

Mchunu said the private investigator will also probe the role played by the police and the private security companies enlisted by the taxi operators at the height of the killings.

He made it clear to all taxi operators that he was committed to finding a solution to the conflict.

KwaZulu-Natal Taxi Alliance secretary Bafana Mhlongo applauded Mchunu's move to appoint a private investigator.

He said they have been worried about the death of operators while the culprits were not being arrested.

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