Guard held for taxi men’s murder

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Durban - A security guard is due to appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on Thursday charged with the murder of two men in Inanda.

Police said the man was arrested in Lindelani on Tuesday and a 9mm pistol, believed to have been used in the killings, was found in his possession.

Xolani Brian Shozi, 39, and Vuvu Zulu, whose age could not be confirmed, were shot dead in their car on Monday afternoon, allegedly by an off-duty private security guard.

Shozi was a taxi owner with the Piesang Taxi Association.

The 27-year-old guard works for Boss Security, which is contracted to two rival Durban taxi associations – Ndwedwe and Piesang – which have been involved in violent clashes over the past two years.

The security company declined to comment, saying it would let the police conduct their own investigation.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident.

“The police received a complaint about a double murder at Nhlungwane area. On arrival to the scene, two bodies were found, one sitting on the driver’s seat and the other one lying near the passenger’s front door,” said Zwane.

“They both sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the body and head. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, said he was disturbed to learn that once again members of security companies were allegedly involved in fatal shootings.

“Just last month, we sat down in Durban with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority as part of our efforts to ensure that security companies are part of the solution to achieve lasting peace and stability in the taxi industry,” said Mchunu.

“I remain firm in saying that it is critical to rid the taxi industry of security companies in view of their role in stirring conflict, which results in the loss of people’s lives.

“On behalf of (the) government, I send my deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.”

The guard had been working with the Ndwedwe Taxi Association and Mchunu suspected rivalry between the two associations as the motive for the killings.

However, a Piesang committee member, who wanted to remain anonymous as he feared for his life, denied that the killings were related to the violent history between the two associations.

“This has nothing to do with the association. It was an issue between two people who had an altercation elsewhere. That is what I know and it had nothing to do with conflict between us and the Ndwedwe association,” he said.

An Ndwedwe Taxi Association member, who also did not want to be named, confirmed the guard had been working for the association.

“We do not know anything except that they had been working for the same company,” he said. “We only heard from other people that our guard has just killed two people. This really frightened us because there is no safety for us as well, as he was protecting us.

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