New taxi boss shot and killed

2017-05-31 06:03
 Photo: suppliedNewly-elected chairperson of the Dolphin Coast Taxi Association, Robert Stephen was fatally gunned down in Etete on Monday evening.

Photo: suppliedNewly-elected chairperson of the Dolphin Coast Taxi Association, Robert Stephen was fatally gunned down in Etete on Monday evening.

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NEWLY elected chairperson of the Dolphin Coast Taxi Association (DCTA), Robert Stephen known as “Ziti” was shot and killed in Etete on Monday evening.

KZN SAPS spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the incident took place at around 6:25pm outside Stephen’s mother’s home.

“He was seated in his stationary vehicle outside his mother's residence when he was gunned down by unknown suspects travelling in a blue Ford sedan. He sustained gunshot wounds on the back, shoulder and hand and he was certified dead at the scene. The motive for the killing is unknown. A case of murder [is being investigated at] Umhlali police station,” she said.

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said it appeared as if an AK47 was used to gun down Stephen.

The association's public relations officer (PRO) Sunshine Mthiyane said they are deeply saddened by Stephen's murder.

“He hadn't even completed a month of being the chairperson of the association since he was elected to the position on the 26th of last month. He was a good person, welcoming and friendly with everyone, as an association, we have suffered a tremendous loss. We do not know what is going on within the Dolphin Coast Taxi Association,” he said.

Stephen's killing comes after the fatal shooting of two of the association's members last year.

In July last year, the association's then PRO Mduduzi Tony was shot in Nkobongo, Shakaskraal, and he later succumbed to his wounds at the Alberlito Hospital.

Earlier in the same year, April, well-known taxi owner Devendran 'Dan' Maharaj, who was also a member of the DCTA, was fatally shot by two unknown suspects in Etete.

Other members of taxi associations within the iLembe region were also shot and killed in 2016.

In December, two members of the KwaMaphumulo Taxi Association together with a third person were fatally gunned down by a group of suspects during an ambush along the R74, between Ekunqobeni and Masiwela.

In October, a member of the Stanger Taxi Association Vusi Mbeje, who was also known as Vusi Gasa, died in hospital after he was shot in Groutville.

Sibusiso Sithole, who was a member of the KwaMaphumulo Taxi Association, was shot and killed in April last year on Townview Road, KwaDukuza.

In majority of the killings, the motives have been unclear.
Mthiyane expressed DCTA's words of condolences to Stephen's family, adding that the association would assist the family it whatever way possible. He called for calm and restraint among the association's members, urging them to allow the police to conduct their investigations so the suspects would be apprehended.

This call was reiterated by the chairperson of the iLembe Regional Taxi Council, Bongani Mkhwanazi.

“As a council, we are saddened and troubled by this. What is really concerning is that the outcome of the elections of the association's leadership was not meant to result in a murder, and according to a report the council received, the elections were free and fair and peaceful, maybe the problem is that some people are never satisfied,” he said.

Mkhwanazi expressed the council's sympathies towards Stephen's family.

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