TAXIMAN SHOT 10 times

A TAXI operator in Nongoma died in a hail of bullets after he was shot 10 times by unknown assailants, raising fears of renewed taxi violence in the area.

A TAXI operator in Nongoma died in a hail of bullets after he was shot 10 times by unknown assailants, raising fears of renewed taxi violence in the area.

Khunda Nkosi, 38, was attacked by unknown assailants on Sunday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Captain Vusi Mbatha said Nkosi was at the rank when he received a call on his cellphone.

"As he was driving along the only street in town, a Toyota Cressida showed up with two men inside.

"They fired shots at him and he ran towards the municipal offices.

"They followed him, at the same time firing, and he collapsed near the offices and died. "About 10 gunshot wounds were inflicted on his body," Mbatha said .

Mbatha said they believed the incident was linked to the ongoing taxi violence in the area. He said Nkosi was not in good terms with other taxi drivers in the area.

"Though no arrests have been made yet, police strongly believe that the incident is related to taxi violence.

"A few months ago, taxi operators in Dabhasi area were attacked and we believe that this is a continuation of the attacks," he said.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for transport, community safety and liaison, Willies Mchunu, condemned the killing, saying he hoped that the police would bring those responsible to book.

Mchunu committed himself to finding lasting peace in the industry.

"Negotiations must never end. Our first prize is to see no more deaths as a result of this conflict.

"Let us not allow the law of the jungle to dictate the taxi business operations."

The Nongoma Taxi Association felt the wrath of the law early this year when Bheki Cele then MEC for transport, shut down the rank and operations after violence erupted.

He later lifted the ban after a series of meetings where taxi operators committed themselves to peace and resolving any issues amicably.

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