SIZWE Ngubane (35) was sentenced to 140 years imprisonment – four life sentences and additional 40 years – last week by the Durban High Court for killing taxi operators and security guards during an ambush on the R74 last year.KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda welcomed the sentence.Ngubane was found guilty of four counts of murder and eight attempted murder cases, which will all run concurrently.In January 2015, a convoy of security guards escorting Maphumulo taxi owners was ambushed by a group of people who appeared as construction workers.The accused was arrested by police in oSindisweni clinic, in eNdwedwe, on the day of the shooting, after he had sustained injuries during an exchange of gunfire.Kaunda said the attack was believed to be fuelled by tensions over routes between the old rival associations, namely the Maphumulo and KwaDukuza taxi associations.Commenting on the court judgement, he said the court decision will go a long way in sending a strong message that perpetrators of taxi violence would be dealt with harshly by the law.“We wish to welcome and applaud the court judgement for handing down 140 years to Ngubane. We have no doubt this will send a strong message that the long arm of law will reach to all those who are fuelling conflict and violence in the taxi industry.“ We wish also to commend the team of detectives who were working on this case for their dedication and hard work in resolving this case. We urge police to work with speed in resolving all other outstanding murder and attempted murder cases between Maphumulo and KwaDukuza taxi associations,” he said.He commended the leaders of taxi associations and members who assisted with investigations by providing crucial information that ensured that the perpetrators of violence were arrested.“As government we will continue working with all taxi associations and Santaco leadership to ensure that we remove all hitmen who are brutally murdering taxi operators, and that they are brought to book. “The days of resolving differences through the barrel of a gun are over. We must all embrace peaceful dialogue in search for solutions to all our differences. “We are determined to achieve a stable taxi industry that is incident free,” said Kaunda.We wish to welcome and applaud the court for handing down 140 years to Ngubane.