Taxi drivers assault bakkie driver taking people to work

2013-05-29 00:00

POLICE are investigating cases of attempted murder and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, after a man transporting people to work in his bakkie was allegedly attacked by taxi drivers at Mkondeni yesterday morning.

Thulani Duma said he was driving his passengers from Dambuza to various workplaces when about 20 taxi drivers armed with knob­kerries, sticks and bush knives surrounded his H100 Hyundai bakkie in C.B. Downes Road.

The drivers, who accused him of transporting passengers in his private vehicle, ordered him to step out of his vehicle or they would burn it and his passengers.

“At first, I was scared to get out and my passengers were also reluctant to get out, but we eventually did.”

Moments later, all the drivers pounced on him.

He said as he was being beaten, he realised there was blood all over him. Upon hearing the sound of a gunshot, he took out his gun and, in his state of fear, fired a shot randomly, which caused the crowd of drivers attacking him to flee.

“I’ve never been beaten like this. I still don’t know how I survived. I thought that if they do kill me, at least let me die fighting. You usually see these things on TV.”

Duma said he called his wife to tell her what had just happened, because he thought he was dying. “I thought to myself, I need to speak to her one last time, because I could feel the strength leaving my body.”

He has an open wound on his head, which he believes he sustained from a bush knife, and has other injuries on his body.

Duma is a municipal refuse truck driver, but he started taking people to work after they asked for his help, because his vehicle used to be parked at home.

He said his customers, who were mostly bus commuters, complained that the bus was always full and sometimes it would leave them behind.

“I was just helping. And people are complaining that they cannot afford to board four taxis to work daily, because they don’t earn that much money. The money assisted me to take my children to school.

“If anyone should have been fighting with me, it is the bus drivers and not the taxi drivers,” he said, adding that yesterday was the last day he would be taking people to work.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said one of the taxi drivers was shot in the stomach and had injuries to his leg, and is currently in a serious condition in Northdale Hospital.

No arrests have been made and police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.


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