Bail bid delayed for Durban taxi murder accused

2015-10-10 07:19
Guns recovered after a shoot-out at the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban. (Supplied to News24)

Guns recovered after a shoot-out at the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban. (Supplied to News24)

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Durban – The bail application for 12 people accused of murder, attempted murder and public disturbance during the Brook Street taxi rank shooting were remanded in custody on Friday.

Prosecution and defence attorneys delivered opposing arguments lasting most of the day, but the decision for the bail application was expected on their next appearance on October 16.

Defence attorney Jimmy Howse addressed the court and said no evidence had been presented proving his clients had been responsible for the shooting.

Howse said his clients had been at the rank as members of the Berea Long Distance Taxi Association and they were merely “observing” and had nothing to do with the Sonke and Zamokuhle associations.

“This is common practice in the taxi industry. Furthermore, when the incident took place, police also arrested the rank security, yet they have been released. One of my clients was shot in the buttocks as well ... we cannot determine whose bullets have been used, yet my clients are still in custody.”

However, Prosecutor Khuma Shazi said the men, armed on the day, were at Brook Street to provoke the incident.

“They were all armed and had parked two of their taxis at the rank on the morning in question.”

She said the men had acted for Sonke, which was muscling in on the taxi routes between Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

Three people were killed in the shoot-out. The 12 men, who had hoped to be released on bail, were arrested and charged after a shoot-out at the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban on September 16.

Zamokuhle Long Distance Taxi Association and the Sonke Long Distance Taxi Association have been in a dispute over the route between Port Shepstone and the Brook Street taxi rank in Durban near the Berea Road station.

The suspects include William Kunene, Hezekiah Masiteng, Xolani Mhlongo, Vusi Ngubane, Sibongiseni Khanyile, Lucas Mhlenti, Brett Rayner, Thulani Dyanti, Mandla Nkosi, Mhlabunzima Gasa and Mfundo Gcaba.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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