Members of taxi association killed

2016-12-14 06:02

TWO members of the KwaMaphumulo Taxi Association together with a third person were fatally gunned down last Wednesday afternoon during an ambush staged by a group of armed suspects.

Taxi boss Mzweleni Mkhwanazi (37), Wanda Mchunu (32) and Bongumusa Ngcobo (29) died while Mkhuzeni Mhlongo (29) is still recovering in hospital.
According to KZN SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele they were travelling from Ekunqobeni to Masiwela along the R74 at around 4pm, on Wednesday, in a blue Toyota Hilux.

“The suspects opened fire fatally wounding three victims and another sustained multiple gunshot injuries and was taken to hospital for medical attention. The motive is unknown at this stage. Three charges of murder and one of attempted murder were opened at KwaDukuza police station for investigation,” Mbhele said.

A spokesman for the association, said Mzweleni was driving home from the taxi rank when the incident occurred.

He said the incident could be related to the ongoing taxi violence between members of Maphumulo and another group of taximen.

“There’s a group of people who constantly disrupt our operations. They buy taxis and forcefully operate without following proper procedures.”

The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda condemned the killing and instructed the police to increase their presence in the Maphumulo area and to work hard to ensure that perpetrators are arrested with speed.

According to a statement issued by the MEC’s department, police have assured Kaunda that they are already following leads to suspects involved in the ambush killing, which threatens to de-stabilise the already fragile taxi industry in iLembe District.

Kaunda also asked the police to ensure that the survivor of the incident is protected so that he will be able to assist the police in the investigation.

“We are extremely disturbed by the latest killings of three members of the Maphumulo Taxi Association. It has all the hallmarks of anti-development individuals who are hell-bent on spilling blood, thereby continuing to de-stabilise the taxi industry. These wicked individuals are also threatening to undermine the hard-won peace and stability, especially in the KwaDukuza and Maphumulo areas, which our government, together with SANTACO provincial leadership and the taxi industry in the affected areas have very worked to attain.
“We will not afford these killers an opportunity to have the last laugh, by continuing to kill people at their whim. Instead, we will make sure that they are caught to face the full might of the law, and be rooted out of our communities forever,” Kaunda said.

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