Durban - THE Department of Transport has dispatched a team to “get to the bottom” of the taxi violence in the Newcastle-Ladysmith area following the murder of another taxi operator on Sunday.
Sibusiso Nkomonde, chairperson of the Sizwe taxi association in Newcastle, is the latest taxi operator to be gunned down in a suspected dispute over routes.
Last week, Muzikayifani Ngobese, 64, the deputy chairperson of the Klipriver Taxi Association, was ambushed in his double-cab vehicle on the Matiwaneskop Road, near Ladysmith.
Ngobese, his daughter, driver and two bodyguards were shot dead.
Six others were killed when Ngobese’s bakkie slammed into their minibus after being fired at. A seventh died in hospital as a result of the crash.
Describing Sunday's incident, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said Nkomonde, 66, was driving towards Utretcht from Osizweni when he was ambushed.
“Just after crossing Umzinyathi River it is alleged a black sedan with three occupants opened fire, fatally wounding Nkomonde.
"He sustained head and chest injuries and was certified dead at the scene.
"A case of murder was opened at Utrecht,” she said.
Attempts to reach his association were unsuccessful yesterday. An official who answered the phone said all their senior officials were in a meeting and would not be available.
Transport department spokesperson, Kwanele Ncalane said on Monday the team set up to deal with the matter had called a meeting with taxi operators.