Bolobedu taxi boss killed in suspected hit

A taxi boss has been killed
A taxi boss has been killed
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Lulama Zenzile

A taxi boss in Limpopo was shot and killed on his way home in a suspected hit this week .

Bolobedu Long-distance Taxi Association chair Alpheus Tepanyeka, 57, was shot several times in the upper body and died on the scene while driving his bakkie at Mamokadi village in Bolobedu on Tuesday night.

Tepanyeka's death comes two months after the secretary of the association Judas Moremi was similarly killed in a hail of bullets at Nakampe village. The two had allegedly met with the police as part of the investigations into missing millions belonging to the taxi association.

A resident who only identified himself as Mr Mohale from Mamokadi village, said he was at home when he heard gunshots around 7pm.

"Few minutes later I received a call that there was a white bakkie parked near the farms and it was suspected it could be livestock thieves," Mohale said. "I called other community members. We rushed to where the car was."

Mohale said they found Tepanyeka's body inside the bullet-riddled bakkie.

"His vehicle was almost driven into the bushes and the door on the driver side was open," he said.

Mohale said he waited at the scene until 3am when the pathologists arrived to pick up Tepanyeka's body.

When Sowetan visited Tepanyeka's home we found few family members, relatives and community members gathered after receiving the sad news in the morning.

The taxi boss's brother, Michael, said the family could not comment at moment.

Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the community members of MaMokadi village discovered the body the inside his vehicle and contacted the police.

"The body of the victim had gunshot wounds and the victim is said to be the chairperson of the Bolobedu Long-Distance Taxi Association. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage but taxi feuds cannot be ruled out," he said.

A few days after Moremi was shot and killed the treasurer of the association, Makoma Rabothata was also shot but survived.

Tepanyeka told Sowetan at the time that some members of the previous administration were refusing to hand over financial statements belonging to the association. He said when they were elected into office in November last year they later found that millions of rands belonging to the association was missing.

"I believe there is a hit list targeting the new executives. People have built mansions with the money they stole from the association while other operators are trapped in debt," he said at the time.

He said despite overwhelming evidence, police were not making arrests or protecting complainants.

Tepanyeka told Sowetan he met with police in Tzaneen hoping to get them to investigate the unabated taxi-related murders and corruption.

Mojapelo said police investigations were continuing and those with crucial information should contact the police.

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