Vusi Shabangu- taxi boss killed in Zondi, Soweto. 180214 Picture: Handout/Supplied

Johannesburg - Vusi Shabangu’s killers got up close. At point-blank range, they fired on his white BMW X5 with an R5 assault rifle and a 9mm handgun as he reversed out of his girlfriend’s yard in Zondi, Soweto, at about 10pm on Monday.

Several bullets hit Shabangu, the chairman of a taxi association, killing him as he sat in his car.

Police suspect the murder was an execution.

“The way the cartridges were spread, they wanted him to die,” police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said on Tuesday.

Police officers gathered 10 spent R5 rounds and five empty 9mm cartridges.

“A woman saw two people run to the house,” said Makhubela. “After the shooting, the two ran to a vehicle near an open piece of veld.”

Shabangu was chairman of the Dobsonville, Roodepoort, Leratong, Johannesburg Taxi Association (Dorljota).

The association doesn’t believe the killing was related to taxi violence. “There is no association we are fighting with,” Dorljota spokesman Zeblon Simelane said.

Shabangu joined Dorljota as a 21-year-old taxi driver and had been a member for 40 years.

Rehana Moosajee, who worked with Shabangu on the establishment of the Bus Rapid Transit system when she was Joburg’s transport MMC, said on Twitter: “The senseless killing of Mr Shabangu, an outstanding leader in the taxi industry, is a stark reminder of how we have lost value for life. RIP”.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi said:

“He was an innovative leader who contributed a lot to growing the taxi industry, a robust yet constructive person who always brought good, strong points in his debates and arguments.”

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The Star