KZN taxi association members living in fear after another attack

2015-09-18 19:00

Durban – Members of the Zamokuhle Long Distance Taxi Association says they are living in fear after a minibus taxi belonging to one of their members was shot at on Friday morning.

The shooting took place a day after a deadly shooting in Durban’s Brook Street taxi rank, which left three people dead and three injured when gunmen opened fire at the Port Shepstone taxi line in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A member of the association, who cannot be identified because he fears for his life, confirmed the taxi that was shot at on Friday belonged to one of its members.

"The driver left Port Shepstone at around 05:00. It was the first taxi out and the driver was dropping off a passenger at the Jacobs bridge.

"When he stopped, the guys in a white VW Golf 6 stopped next to the taxi, rolled down their windows and fired three shots at the taxi."

"The driver, Samukele Ngcobo, is in a critical condition. I am told that the bullet is stuck inside and he was supposed to go into surgery. It’s not looking good."

Police said they were investigating a case of attempted murder. The motive for the shooting was unknown at this stage.

"I am scared; we are all scared because we don’t know what is next. This is the second hit in one week. I don’t know what else is going to happen."

The man, who has in-depth knowledge of the industry, said the association was formed by a small group of Port Sheptone taxi owners in 1969.

"Today, there was 106 owners registered in the association and there is a fleet of about 300 taxis."

Took rival to court over routes

He said a one-way trip to Durban cost R70 and most of the taxis that belonged to Zamokuhle were 16-seater minibuses.

"The rates for the long distance trips from Port Shepstone are R30 to uMzinto, R100 to Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cap and R270 to Johannesburg. We also have 22-seater taxis."

The man explained that each owner was allowed one trip per day.

"It's not a lot of money. A one-way trip to Durban is about R1 120 when you combine the 16 passengers."

When asked if this was the reason why Sonke Long Distance Taxi Association wanted access to the route between Durban and the South Coast, he said: "I honestly don’t know, because there is not a lot of money here. But this is not the only route they want. They also want Ixopo and Umzimkhulu." 

Zamokuhle has been at war with its rival Sonke Long Distance Taxi Association, which is reported to have close links to President Jacob Zuma's taxi boss nephew, Mfundo Gcaba.

It was reported earlier that Zamokuhle took Sonke to court over disputes over routes between Durban and the South Coast.

It was reported that Zamokuhle wanted Sonke interdicted from using a major Durban taxi rank, intimidating its members and interfering with their routes. The court reportedly granted Zamokuhle the interdict.

Gcaba was among the eleven men who appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Friday for Wednesday’s shooting. The men have been charged with public violence, murder and attempted murder. The case has been remanded until September 23. 

Read more on:    durban  |  taxi violence  |  crime

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