Taxi association chair shot

2010-04-16 00:00

A CHAIRMAN of a taxi association was murdered in an ambush on Wednesday evening by men armed with assorted assault rifles, including an AK47 and an R5, in Appelsbosch, in the KZN midlands.

The murder has angered Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu.

The Reverend Simon Mkhwanazi (55), who was the chairman of Bhamshela Taxi Association, was ambushed while driving his vehicle near a taxi rank in Appelsbosch at about 6.30 pm on Wednesday.

The police believe that he was killed by two men, who were armed with AK47 and R5 rifles, but a witness said he saw about four men who were armed with assault rifles and handguns.

“This incident annoyed me because I always insist that people should solve their differences around the table rather than through the barrel of a gun. If people fail to listen, the police will deal with them,” said Mchunu.

Mkhwanazi was also a priest of KwaSizabantu church and an emerging livestock farmer.

It is alleged that his death is the result of an internal dispute in his association.

Secretary of the association, Skhulu Thusi, said Mkhwanazi’s ambush followed shortly after a quarrel among members of the association over his payment for attending meetings.

“There were people who raised unhappiness over how the chairperson was being paid for travelling to taxi meetings,” said Thusi.

A sugar cane farm worker, Trevor Luthuli (25), said he was walking from a shop near the taxi rank when the shooting took place.

“Mkhwanazi was shot by four men, who were in the latest Toyota Corolla, that was following his car. The driver of the Corolla started the shooting. After several shots, Mkhwanazi jumped out of his car and ran through the taxi rank into a vegetable field. The men followed him while firing shots.

“After shooting him, they walked slowly from the field as if they did nothing wrong. They got into their car and disappeared,” said Luthuli.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said they are looking for men who were travelling in a silver-grey Mazda 2.

He appealed to anyone who has information about the murder to contact Captain Sikhisithi Luthuli of the Harburg Police Station at 033 506 1014 or 082 418 1807.

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