Cape Town - The Western Cape transport department believes the weekend shootings at a Muizenberg taxi rank and at the home of a taxi boss which left two people dead were not related to “traditional taxi issues”.

Siphesihle Dube, spokesman for transport MEC Robin Carlisle, said the department believed they were related to drug trade in the area.

“We believe a taxi owner and taxi drivers were involved in the drug trade in the area. We have spoken to the concerned taxi association and the agreements they signed have been upheld by all parties. We are of the view that the incident has nothing to do with a taxi dispute or any other transport issue,” Dube said.

“We believe the shootings are in retaliation for last Tuesday’s shooting in Prince George Drive. The police would have the final say as to what is the cause,” he added.

The taxi boss, who has not been identified yet, died after gunmen fired shots to his head and chest. He was airlifted to the Vincent Palloti Hospital where he died on Saturday.

The second shooting, at the Capricorn taxi rank, took place an hour later. Two people were injured while a third died on the scene.

Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk confirmed the incidents and deaths.

“The owner of a taxi group was shot in the head and airlifted to hospital. About an hour later a second shooting incident occurred at the Capricorn taxi rank where two people were injured and another person died on the scene,” Van Wyk said.

The slain man was a 44-year-old and the injured were a 24-year-old man – shot twice in the left leg – and a 28-year-old man who was shot in the back. A witness who asked not to be named said: “Three men came on to the taxi rank and randomly started firing shots at the people. We all ran away. It looked like they fired shots at the taxis, but then people got caught up in the mess.”

The witness said: “I could not see what sort of cars they were driving, but after they fired their shots they left in a hurry. The people were left for dead. I use this taxi rank daily and now it has become so dangerous I am thinking of using a bus or train instead.”

Van Wyk said no one was arrested and the two shootings could be linked. Murder and attempted murder cases were opened.

The weekend’s shootings came less than a week after a man was killed and another was injured in a drive-by shooting.

No one has been arrested for Tuesday’s shooting on the corner of Capricorn Drive and Prince George Drive in Vrygrond near Muizenberg.

The Retreat Taxi Association has expressed concern. Association chairman Basil Nagel says: “We are concerned for our commuters and our drivers. We do not know what the motives for these shootings are, but within our association there is peace.”

Cape Times