Two taxis allegedly petrol bombed in escalating Phoenix turf war
Durban- The tow truck feud between rival operators in Phoenix, north of Durban, escalated when two minibus taxis belonging to a tow truck and taxi owner was allegedly petrol bombed early on Thursday morning.
The taxis were parked on a property used as a parking lot by Odanes Taxis and tow trucks in Brayford Road, Phoenix.
Neighbours who did not want to be named said they heard a loud bang and glass shattering.
When they peered out their windows they saw flames coming from the property which is surrounded by a high concrete palisade fencing. They believe a petrol bomb might have been thrown from the roadside onto a taxi. The taxis were parked off for some time. A security guard was on the premises but did not know much about the incident.
One of the taxis parked closer to the road and gate was extensively damaged. The other was partially burnt in the back section and interior. Three other vans parked in a single file on the driveway were not damaged.
Bheki Hadebe, uMhlanga fire department Divisional Commander, said firefighters were called in to extinguish the blaze.
"We cannot confirm if a petrol bomb had been used. We can confirm two taxis were burnt. Two other cars were also partially damaged. The police would investigate the incident further," he said.
Captain Nqobile Gwala, KZN police spokesperson confirmed that they were aware of the incident. Gwala said the cause of the fire was unknown.
"The owner had not opened a case at the Phoenix police station," she said.
The taxis are owned by Kevin and Calvin Periasamy who are currently awaiting trial at Westville prison. They are accused of being a part of the “Bloods” gang which is believed to have a network that spans across the country. It is alleged they were operating a drug cartel in Phoenix when the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) also called the Hawks, arrested them.
On January 25, the task force made their way to their Phoenix home where they recovered R97 156 in cash, two pistols, a shotgun, 64 live rounds of ammunition, 1 836 heroin caps, 138 heroin straws, 80 large crack cocaine pieces, 30 mandrax tablets, three bags cocaine, two Ecstasy pills and 186g of dagga.
None of the Independent tow truck operators in Phoenix wanted to comment. Some speaking anonymously said they were operating in fear.
Gypsy Towlines tow truck and minibus taxi owner Malcolm Naidoo,41, was shot multiple times on Monday after gunmen ambushed him outside his friend's home in Sunford Drive, Phoenix. He was rushed to hospital but died on arrival.
He was cremated at the Verulam crematorium on Wednesday.