Durban - Fears that a memorial service for slain tow truck owner Nkosi Makhaye could turn into a frenzy forced the closure of schools in Cato Manor on Thursday.
The service for Nkosi Makhaye, owner of Kasi Boys Towing, is expected to take place on Mandene Park sports field on the corner of Mary Thipe (Cato Manor) and Sport Road in Manor Gardens.
Makhaye of Cato Manor was shot dead on Saturday night in Cato Crest.
Glenridge Preprimary School on Rif Road and Manor Gardens Primary School have decided not to open on Thursday. One of the schools sent a message to parents saying they expect unrest and the safety of staff and pupils was of concern. They had planned to close early on Thursday but late on Wednesday night informed parents that school would close for the day.
This has inconvenienced several parents who had to put off meetings and reschedule their day to fetch their children.
Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, a Durban Metro police spokesperson, said they have deployed a team to monitor the area. He said there will be no road closures.
"We will be monitoring the proceedings to ensure law and order,"he said.
Tow truck feuds between operators in the Berea area where Kasi Boys towing operated had escalated over the years.
In January 2014 , Brandon Clarisse,21, who worked for Street Kingz Towing, was on the northbound King Dinuzulu Road (formerly Berea Road) near Tollgate Bridge when he was shot in the head at close range by two men. No one had been arrested.
In March 2015, Althaf Dawood the owner of Jumbos Breakdown was shot dead when he allegedly got into an altercation at a collision scene on N3 near the Brickfield Road offramp. Nadieme Piyarilall is still on trial for the murder.
In July 2018, a tow truck driver employed by Kasi Boys was shot and wounded while he was seated in his vehicle on Berea and Hunt Road. No one was arrested.
In October 2018, Imtiaz Khan and Megesh Naidoo, owners of One Stop Towing were killed in a drive-by shooting on Ridge Road in Durban. Three others were wounded. No one had been arrested.
In December 2018, Street Kingz Towing owner Ralph Gabriel was shot multiple times at close range at the intersection of King Dinuzulu Road(Berea Road) and Canongate Avenue. No one had been arrested.
Mayville, Berea and Umbilo police had been investigating numerous cases of intimidation during the tow truck battle.
There were also feuds and intimidation between tow truck owners in the Phoenix, Durban North and South Durban area.
The national chairperson of the United Towing Association of SA, Ettienne Pel, said there was no standard when it came to who entered the industry. That resulted in it becoming lucrative and over-saturated.
So much so, he said, that “you get operators who are unscrupulous and extort consumers”.
He labelled certain individuals as “bullies”, adding that the association had pleaded with law-enforcement agencies to clean up the industry.
Pel said he was in talks with the police to get a task team in place to clamp down on the industry and ensure operators were compliant.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said they have deployed enough manpower to monitor the proceedings.