Taxi war simmers in KwaZulu-Natal

Ten people were arrested and about 20 taxis impounded after the vehicles blocked the main road in Stanger, KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday afternoon, police reported.

This was after four people were killed and three injured in a morning shoot-out involving a taxi on the R102 in Ntshawini.

Inspector Michael Read said the taxi violence is believed to be due to ranking and route disputes between two rival organisations, the Stanger Taxi Association and the Maphumalo Taxi Association.

He said the Stanger Taxi Association had blocked the road to demand that the Maphumalo Taxi Association’s permit be withdrawn.

When police arrived on the scene they arrested 10 people for public violence and impounded the taxis for being unlicenced or unroadworthy, said Read.

Read said police and the deputy mayor of Stanger were meeting with the taxi associations in the hope of resolving the matter.

“We are trying to get the two taxi associations together,” he said.
“I am sure they will be able to come to an agreement”.

The violence on Friday was apparently a retaliatory attack following an incident on Thursday in the Cranebrook area of KwaDukuza, in which two people died.

Superintendent Vasie Naidu said the victims of Friday’s shoot-out were travelling in a minibus taxi when gunmen ambushed them, opening fire on the vehicle.

Two people, a man and a woman, were hit several times and died on the scene.

Naidoo said another two people died when the taxi burst into flames after going off the road and landing in a ditch. The victims were burnt beyond recognition.

A further three victims sustained injuries and were admitted to hospital.—Sapa

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