Durban — Activists and police have called for an end to killings that could be linked to the taxi industry in KwaZulu-Natal.
Last week taxi violence and the drug turf war in Durban resulted in 10 people being killed.
Taxi owners, Siyabonga Ndlovu, 45, and Nathi Mthethwa, 50, were shot and killed at the corner of Canongate and Carter Roads in Berea.
On the same day, on Peters Road in Sprson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said the recent killings and attempted murders of taxi ownringfield Park, alleged drug lord Brandon “Puff” Kalicharan, 42, his wife Jeconiah “Jackie” Pillay, and their 9-year-old daughter were shot and killed. The police believed the motive was seemingly drug-related.
Provincial police spokesperson suggested there were unresolved issues in the taxi industry which required authorities to provide leadership by convening a meeting with aggrieved parties to solve the matter through dialogue.
“The Taxi Violence Unit is on the ground working tirelessly to stop these murders and investigate where murders have been committed. We make a plea to community members to work with police and provide information that can assist in arresting those responsible for these murders.”
Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said the fact that KZN had become a murder hotspot was worrying. He said recently there had been several incidents and in most police had not made breakthroughs.
“There needs to be an urgent intervention. The already high murder rate is going up even further. It appears more and more hit men are at work,” said Abramjee.
The director of Gun Free SA, Adèle Kirsten, said the solution to the mass shootings and assassinations in the province was the recovery of guns. She said they knew there had been some success in the recovery of the weapons and their destruction. “The SAPS is doing something but it is not enough,” said Kirsten.
The recovery of guns should be the SAPS’s priority and gun law should be strengthened, she said. The state needed to strengthen the control of weapons that were removed and stockpiled to ensure they did not go back to the illegal market.
As for the mass shootings and assassinations, Kirsten said Gun Free SA had been calling for the establishment of a dedicated firearms unit within the SAPS.
“The focus would be to track and trace guns and to go after the criminals using them. Because when we look at the shootings, as far as we are aware there is no record of those guns having been recovered. They have moved from one criminal to another and have been continuing to cause destruction.”
Kirsten said inequality and unemployment were among contributing factors to crime.
“The biggest drive is the easy availability of drugs,” she said.
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