Taxi hitmen killed

2015-01-20 00:00

THE bodies of people alleged to be hitmen involved in the attack on Maphumulo taxi bosses last week are being found in various locations on the North Coast.

At least four more men, believed to have been involved in last Wednesday’s deadly ambush on a convoy of the Maphumulo Taxi Association bosses in Stanger Manor, have been found dead with gunshot wounds, between Stanger and Darnall.

But who is behind the killings remains a mystery.

The violence is being blamed on a long-standing feud between the Maphumulo and KwaDukuza taxi associations over the right to operate certain routes. The latest victim of this brutal war was a one-year-old child who was killed when the home of his father, a Maphumulo taxi rank manager, was sprayed with bullets by unknown gunmen who also tried to set the house on fire.

Multiple sources from within the police and taxi industry confirmed that “retaliation attacks were certain” since last week’s shootout, but the SAPS organised crime unit, the Hawks, recently tasked with investigating the violent taxi attack, believe they are “close to a breakthrough”.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, while reluctant to reveal sensitive information, said they are busy compiling a list of suspects involved in the hit.

“We are tracing all who we believe were involved in the attack and are positive we will soon have a breakthrough,” he said.

A source close to the investigation said a suspect, who is being detained at an ­undisclosed location, was providing the investigators with a list of the hitmen involved.

“We now know there were 17 hitmen and that they used three vehicles — an Audi, Jetta and BMW X5 — to get away from the scene,” he said.

The source said one hitman killed in last week’s Stanger Manor gunfight was found with R30 000 in cash in his pocket, his likely fee for taking part in the hit.

“The majority of the hitmen were from Umlazi. We had received information that such an attack was coming, but we didn’t know where and when,” he said.

The funeral of Ten-Ten Ngiba, the chairperson of the Maphumulo Taxi ­Association, was held last weekend, with the funeral of a security guard killed in the attack on the taxi owners expected to take place this weekend.

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