Reiger Park taxi war claims another life

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Copy of ST main Taxi shooting 03.JPG (41956414) THE STAR The bullet-riddled windscreen of Andy Kozas taxi. He was shot while driving with his daughter and granddaughters in Reiger Park. Pictures: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - Taxi boss Andy Koza spent thousands of rand to prepare for his daughter’s wedding next Saturday.

The suit he was to wear to the service at the Boksburg Civic Centre was ready.

But the life of the 58-year-old chairman of the Reiger Park Taxi Association was cut short on Thursday.

Koza was in his taxi with his 28-year-old daughter and two granddaughters, aged 2 years and 10 months, when four gunmen carrying semi-automatic pistols fired several shots at him.

He died at OR Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg.

His daughter Jennilee and her children survived the hail of bullets.

The gunmen fired at least 33 bullets into his van. Some of the shots penetrated his body.

He was shot at a traffic light at the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Reiger Park.

Family and friends gathered on Thursday at Koza’s house in Windmill Park to express their condolences.

Some could not believe that Jennilee and her daughters had survived.

Police from the Gauteng Organised Crime Unit arrived in Reiger Park to gather evidence.

They declined to give interviews, referring The Star to their communication unit.

The police said there was a taxi war in the area.

Recalling their ordeal, Jennilee said: “Our taxi came to a stop (at a robot) and, suddenly, a man on foot started firing at my father, who was driving… My father tried to block the bullets with his hands.

“I then said, ‘Pa are you okay?’ He replied, ‘yes’ and I said, ‘Daddy drive,’ while the gunman continued to shoot.”

She said their taxi was followed by four other men in a white Audi. Two of the men opened the Audi’s windows - in front and in the back - and started firing on them until their taxi came to a stop.

“The driver of the Audi stopped his car in front of the taxi. One of the gunmen then stood in front of it and fired randomly.

“It was then that I grabbed my girls and covered them with my body,” Jennilee said.

Koza’s wife Wilma said her husband’s death was related to the taxi violence between members of the Vosloorus Taxi Association and Reiger Park.

She said the feud over routes had been raging for more than two years.

Koza’s family have decided to have the funeral service next Saturday at the same venue that would have hosted the wedding.

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