Residents block roads in protest over KwaMashu taxi driver's killing

2018-03-19 16:52


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Durban – Residents of B section - in KwaMashu, north of Durban - have blockaded roads with burning tyres and rubble following the murder of a taxi driver at the nearby KwaMashu Hostel.

Their protest on Monday was sparked after the 37-year-old driver, from B section, was murdered and robbed of his taxi on Saturday night, allegedly by armed robbers from the hostel.

The residents blockaded Dumisani Makhaye and Queen Nandi Drives and other small roads leading to the area.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said they were monitoring the protest.

"No damages have been reported," he said.

He said KwaMashu police were investigating a case of murder following the driver's death.

"The 37-year-old man had sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the chest and right hand. It is alleged that the deceased was shot and robbed by unknown suspects at KwaMashu Hostel," said Zwane.

A resident, whose name is known to News24, said people from B section were fed up with dying at the hands of the hostel dwellers.

"The taxi driver was not the first resident from B section to be killed at the hostel. Residents have had enough of these killings and nothing happens afterwards," said the resident.

'He did not deserve to die in such a way'

The driver had just offloaded his last passengers at the nearby hostel when armed men accosted him, he said.

"They robbed him of his cash and hijacked his taxi. They shot him afterwards and left him to die at the hostel."

The deceased driver was a kind-hearted man, said the resident.

"He did not deserve to die in such a way. They should have taken the money and the taxi and left him alone. Authorities need to do something to protect the residents from B section," he said.

B section and the neighbouring hostel residents share the same taxis that operate between the areas and KwaMashu Shopping Centre.

Ward 104 councillor Muzi Shezi told News24 on Monday that the situation had been tense in the area since Sunday morning.

"The victim was not just a taxi driver, but a known resident of B section. It is not only his murder that has angered the residents and sparked tensions, but more than two people from B section have been killed, allegedly by people from the hostel, in the past month or so," said Shezi.

Meeting to be held

Another murdered man would be buried this coming weekend, he said.

"He was shot and robbed of his car while at his home in B section. That car was found at the hostel. There's that tension where people from B section are killed by people from the hostel," the councillor said.

Shezi said they were trying to organise a meeting between all the stakeholders to address the current situation.

"We are trying to get police to address residents on the programmes they have in place to curb such killings. We have committed ourselves, as leaders of the community and taxi operators, to work with residents in finding a solution to curb the killings in the area," he said.

The meeting would be held later on Monday or on Tuesday, Shezi said.

A teacher at a local school said most teachers had arrived late due to the protest.

"The principal also decided to let the pupils go home at 13:00 because she feared for their safety, as some of them are from the hostel," said the teacher.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime  |  protests

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