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Slain KZN taxi official named

Police Line
Police Line
Image: STOCK IMAGE

The slain taxi official who was gunned down in a hail of bullets on Sunday has been identified as Sibusiso Obed Nkomonde.

Nkomonde was killed during an ambush in Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Nkomonde‚ 66‚ was the chairman of the Sizwe Taxi Association‚ which is embroiled in an ongoing conflict with the Klipriver Taxi Association over the lucrative Ladysmith-Johannesburg route.

His killing follows a shootout in Ladysmith last Tuesday‚ which left 10 people dead‚ including Klipriver Taxi Association deputy chairperson Muzikayifani Ngobese‚ his daughter Nozipho‚ two bodyguards and his driver.

The 10 were shot while travelling along Matiwaneskop Road in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands town. In 2015‚ Klipriver Taxi Association chairman Bhekuyise Masondo survived a drive-by shooting when he was attacked in the Ladysmith provincial hospital parking lot.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said Nkomonde was driving towards Utrecht from Osizweni when he was overtaken by a black sedan with three occupants just after crossing the Umzinyathi River.

The occupants opened fire‚ killing him instantly. Nkomonde sustained head and chest injuries and was certified dead at the scene. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage.

Mbhele said a case of murder was opened in Utrecht.

In June‚ the Klipriver Taxi Association was granted an interim interdict in the Pietermaritzburg High Court arising from a tense dispute between them and the Sizwe Taxi Association.

In terms of the court order‚ members of the Sizwe Taxi Association were restrained from intimidating members of the Klipriver Taxi Association. The former were also barred from demanding payments from their rivals in order to use certain taxi routes and from insisting that Klipriver members make use of passenger lists that bear the name of the Sizwe Taxi Association.

In a statement issued after the killing of the 10 people in Ladysmith‚ KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu said he was expecting a comprehensive report from Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda.

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