Minibus taxi driver and assistant shot in Esigodini

2018-01-24 06:00

A TAXI driver and his assistant were shot last Wednesday in the Esigodini area at around 5pm.

Plessislaer SAPS spokesperson, Captain Musa Ntombela said the two were rushed to a hospital following the shooting.

He said the driver, Siyabonga Molefe, was shot in the neck while his assistant, Samkelo Gugushe (17), was shot in the buttocks.

Ntombela said police are investigating a case of attempted murder, however, no arrests have been made.

He said the police cannot confirm whether the incident is linked to the ongoing taxi route dispute in the area, but said police have not ruled that out as a possibility.

An Esigodini resident, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, said another shooting occurred on Saturday, January 13 at Malandeni that left a taxi riddled with bullets.

The resident claimed the attack is linked to the route dispute.

Ntombela confirmed that the police are aware of the incident and said they are investigating a case of attempted­ murder.

The shooting took place at 7.15pm, no one was injured.

The resident who spoke to Echo said people in the area struggle to travel­ to and from work as the
route dispute continues with many forced to walk far in order to get a taxi.

The chairperson of the Edendale/Esigodini Taxi Association, Themba Lions, could not talk with Echo when he was contacted for comment as he was going into a meeting.

However, he said he can be contacted today (Thursday).

Should communication with
Lions be successful Echo will run a follow-up story in its next edition.

In October last year, a taxi driver and his friend were shot dead in the Edendale area in an incident the police believe was linked to the route dispute­.

That shooting came after four taxis had been torched in the Esigodini area days earlier which led to taxi drivers under the Edendale, Esigodini Taxi Association taking to the street in protest to voice their concerns about their lives being in danger.

On October 6, 2017, the Esigodini and Emgodini communities marched to the Plessislaer SAPS where they handed over a memorandum of demands, which
outlined their concerns and fears regarding the taxi route dispute in the area. One of the demands was that the community wanted a new association in these areas to be granted permission to operate on the disputed route.

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