Two Eastern Cape taxi bosses gunned down within 24 hours

By SISONKE MLAMLA Time of article published Nov 6, 2019

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Cape Town - Two taxi bosses have been shot and killed within 24 hours in the Eastern Cape, the police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said on Wednesday.

Kinana said the two fatal shooting incidents involving taxi industry bosses occurred in Mthatha and Port Elizabeth.

It was alleged that the 43-year-old Gcobani Toto was fatally wounded after dropping off his child at a school in Mimosa Road in Fairview on Tuesday morning.

Kinana said it was believed that Toto's wife walked their child into the school. She returned to the vehicle where Toto was waiting and just before they could drive off, an unknown person approached the vehicle and fired a shot through the driver’s side. "Another unknown person also approached and fired more shots. Both suspects got into a waiting white VW Polo and sped off".

He said the man sustained gunshot wounds to his upper body and died on the scene, and his wife was not injured but was taken to hospital.

In another incident in Mthatha, it was alleged that 39-year-old taxi owner Tandekile Skomela was found dead with bullet wounds on his body at Lindile locality Mthatha on Monday at around 23:00.

"The deceased was on his way home when he was shot by unknown assailants. He managed to flee from his vehicle to a nearby house where he succumbed to his injuries," he said.

Kinana said the motive for both incidents was unknown and the police would not speculate. No arrests have been made in both incidents. 

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga said they committed themselves to uproot taxi violence and to arrest those in the taxi industry who have no regard for law and order.

Transport MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe has expressed concerned at the spate of killings of taxi bosses that have been happening across in some parts of the province.

She said these attacks need to the given the necessary attention that they deserve, calling on the police to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of justice for the slain taxi bosses.

"We wish not to be alarmist on these attacks, labeling them with all sorts of names and it is our call to everyone affected to refrain from that as well, allow the police to do their work,"  Tikana-Gxothiwe said.

She said this is the time that needs stability in the industry than any other before as the demand for public transport is set to be high as we head towards the busy festive season. 

Anyone who can assist the police investigation with any information can contact Capt Xolile Mdepa on 082 301 8754 (Mthatha incident) or  Lt Col Willy Mayi on 082 697 5914 / 071 059 0005 (Port Elizabeth incident).

Information can be shared on SAPS Crime Stop 08600 10111 or any nearest police station. All information will be treated with strictest confidence. Callers can also remain anonymous should they wish to.

Cape Argus

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