Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal taxi owner has been gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Bergville.

Department of Community, Safety and Liaison spokesman Kwanele Ncalane said Simangaliso Khumalo, 63, was sitting in his vehicle with a woman in the Zwelisha area in Loskop on Tuesday, when two men opened fire at them.

Khumalo died on the scene, while the woman was not injured.

There have been a number of taxi-related killings in the province in the past few months.

The Daily News reported last month that Themba Jiyane, 63, a taxi boss and National Freedom Party leader in Ulundi, was gunned down outside his home. There have been no arrests.

In January there were three other taxi deaths in the province.

S’thembiso “Fezela” Sithole, 35, was gunned down by four men armed with AK-47s at a taxi rank in Folweni near eManzimtoti in full view of commuters.

On the same day in Mtubatuba, taxi owner Mkhawuleni Buthelezi, 56, was shot while driving out of his home with his three children. His son, S’dudla, 29, also died.

Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu expressed concern over the latest shooting, and said the Police and Public Transport Enforcement Unit had been deployed in the area from yesterday to ensure order.

The department said a case of murder had been opened and no arrests had been made.

Mchunu said: “Such killings must come to an end. They are so unnecessary and uncalled for. Issues should be discussed and resolved amicably, not through violence.

“A task team and law enforcement agencies will be intervening in coming up with a long-term plan that will decisively deal with the situation.”

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