Taxi hitman was 'sweet and polite'

KWAZULU-NATAL'S most wanted taxi hitman, Sifiso Nzimande, who was gunned down this week, rarely ventured out of his hideout.

His hideout was at 58 Scheiding Street on the outskirts of Rustenburg in North West. Apart from going out to buy his weekly supply of assorted sweets from a street vendor, Nzimande avoided going outdoors at all costs.

A vendor described the man who was wanted for the murder of Inkosi Mbongeleni Zondi and conspiracy to assassinate national Police Commissioner Bheki Cele as "sweet andpolite".

The gunman was also wanted for a string of murders in the taxi industry in KwaZulu-Natal.

On Monday, he was cornered and killed in a shootout with members of the Durban organised crime unit in the room he had been renting since mid-June.

Police said the fugitive responded by opening fire when he was ordered to open the door. They then returned fire, fatally wounding him.

The Independent Complaints Directorate's Grace Langa said Nzimande was shot six times in the chest.

A former tenant, Thabang Mojela, who had helped prepare Nzimande's room before he moved in, said Nzimande had brought along only a TV set and a DVD player.

During his three-month stay on the property, Nzimande did not have visitors except for his brother, known as "Scar", and a man known as "Sgujana", who only visited him at night.

The landlord lives elsewhere and rents out the whole house.