passenger guns down taxi driver

POLICE in Mtubatuba, northern Zululand, have launched a massive manhunt for a passenger who shot and killed a minibus taxi driver.

Police spokesperson Captain Jabulani Mdletshe said yesterday that Mbongeni Dladla Mgenge, 41, was driving from Mtubatuba to the Oshwashweni area when he was killed in KwaMbonambi.

"It is suspected that the passenger had boarded the taxi in Mtubatuba.

"Along the way other passengers jumped off until the suspect was the only one left.

"The passenger is believed to have pulled out a firearm and shot Mgenge once in the head," Mdletshe said.

"He died on the scene."

Mdletshe said a person on the side of the road witnessed the shooting.

"He heard a gunshot and saw a taxi diverting off the road and notified the police. He said he saw a man getting out of the taxi and run into the nearby bushes.

"When the police and the ambulance arrived, the driver was already dead.

"The motive for the shooting is unknown at this stage," said Mdletshe.

Police could not say whether the murder was related to taxi violence or if it was a criminal act.

"We at this stage can't link it to taxi-related violence. Investigations should shed light on the motive for the killing," Mdletshe said.

In another incident in Ophondweni near KwaMsane, also in Mtubatuba, a man was killed allegedly by three men who were accusing him of beating their mother.

"The men allegedly beat him to death with sticks," said Mdletshe.