Durban - Bloodletting in the Pietermaritzburg taxi industry continued this past week when the deputy chairperson of the Elandskop Taxi association was gunned down.
Albert Ngcobo, 54, was shot at least 10 times on Friday morning by unknown attackers.
Captain Musa Ntombela, the spokesperson of the Plessislaer policing area, said Ngcobo had just parked his taxi in Imbali Township Stage 1 (outside Pietermaritzburg), when he was accosted by the two armed men.
“The men open fire at him, they shot about 10 times and they fled in a getaway car that had been parked about 150m away. It seemed the people who shot him were people that had been following him,” he said.
Ntombela said it was unclear what the deceased was doing in Imbali township and police were not certain whether the shooting was related to the taxi violence in Esigodini Township.
“Imbali is not his route, he is from Elandskop and there were no passengers in the taxi. At this stage, we are investigating the case and we hope to make an arrest soon."
Ngcobo’s shooting comes as the police and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport Community safety and Liaison are trying to quell the taxi violence in Esigodini township, also in Pietermaritzburg, where several people have been killed and a number of taxis set alight.
The Esigodini taxi association is embroiled in a dispute with “illegal operators” over routes. At least two people are confirmed by taxi industry officials to have been killed in the past few months.
Last week, a taxi driver in the area narrowly escaped death after his taxi was shot at. He managed to jump out and flee and when he returned with the owner, the taxi had been set alight.
Ngcobo is the fourth taxi boss to be killed in the past few weeks in different parts of the province.
Last month Muzikayifani Ngobese of the Klipriver association in Ladysmith was killed in an ambush. That ambush led to a car crash that killed teachers on their way to school.
Other taxi bosses have been shot and killed in Newcastle and Jozini areas.