Taxi boss gunned down

2017-06-08 06:00
KZN MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo (left) consoles Njabulo Mcwabe’s mother, Makhosi Mcwabe.Photo: supplied

KZN MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo (left) consoles Njabulo Mcwabe’s mother, Makhosi Mcwabe.Photo: supplied

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THE death of Sakhile Mathe, taxi boss for Siqalokuhle Taxi Association in Tongaat, and his friend Njabulo Mcwabe have raised fears in the taxi industry in Tongaat.

Community organisations are calling for the KZN Department of Community Safety and Liaison to intervene.

Mathe and Mcwabe were attacked in the Gandhi’s Hill area on Saturday, May 27 at around 6.30pm.

Police sources revealed that Mathe left a supermarket in Gandhi’s Hill and went out to meet Mcwabe, who was in his car outside, when unknown gunmen opened fire on them.

Mathe sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died a short while after arrival.

Mcwabe sustained gunshot wounds to the chest. He was declared dead by paramedics at the scene.

The killings occurred less than two months after another taxi driver was shot dead at the Tongaat Taxi Rank last month. Another taxi boss survived a hail of bullets after unknown suspects opened fire on him in Gandhi’s Hill on March 29.

Noluthando Mzingazi (40), a taxi passenger, fears that the situation may get out of control if authorities turn a blind eye.

“Mathe was a man of integrity. I suspect there must be something going on in the Tongaat taxi industry and I wish government would intervene to stop these merciless killings of taxi drivers and owners.”

Member of the Hambanathi Community Policing Forum Anthony Gumede­ urged the KZN government to work around the clock to ensure the safety of the community.

“Government officials must come to Tongaat and address the taxi drivers and the public.”

Gumede also urged the public to work with the police in the fight against crime.

“Such barbaric crimes can be prevented if the community work with the police. I always urge the public to join CPF structures in their communities to fight against crime.”

Health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo visited­ the Mcwabe family in Tongaat on May 29.

The Weekly learnt that Mcwabe was a nurse at Phoenix Clinic.

Dhlomo said in a statement: “Njabulo’s passion for saving lives is understandable as he comes from a family that has had long ties with the Department of Health since his mother for many years served as a matron at Osindisweni Hospital.

“He was an all-rounder, who was comfortable and productive in many spheres be it operating theatre, paediatric ward, gynae and maternity. It did not matter; he was always up to the task.”

Dhlomo bemoaned the continued loss of young health professionals.

Tongaat SAPS spokesperson Warrant­ Officer Manisha Maharaj-Marie said police are investigating cases of murder.

“Police received complaints of a shooting in the Gandhi’s Hill area. Upon arrival Mathe was lying on the side of the road, outside the supermarket. Mncwabe was found next the doorway of the supermarket. The matter is under investigation.”

Numerous attempts were made to get a comment from the deputy chairperson of Siqalokuhle Taxi Association, Nico Mkhize.

When the Weekly contacted Mkhize on Tuesday he told the journalist to call him back, however, he did not take the call thereafter.

The Weekly also tried to get comment from the KZN MEC of Community Safety and Liaison spokesperson, Mluleki Mntungwa, but was unsuccessful.

 

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