There are fears of a looming taxi war in Clermont township after a driver was shot and killed while transporting a taxi full of passengers.
The incident happened during the early hours of Thursday on Zazi Road (KwaKheth’omthandayo), which is near a taxi rank.
Eyewitnesses told The Witness that an unknown gunman approached the stationary taxi and fired a hail of bullets at the taxi driver. The driver also returned fire.
The taxi swerved off the road and nearly crashed into a nearby wall. The driver was pronounced dead on the scene and the gunman was taken to hospital where he died.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said KwaDabeka police were investigating a case of two murders.
A 48-year-old man was a taxi driver and declared dead at the scene. Another person was taken to hospital where he was declared dead upon arrival.
The taxi driver belonged to the local Clermont and KwaDabeka taxi association.
Shocked residents said there was a rise in crime in the area.
On Tuesday, there was a cash-in-transit robbery in Clermont where shots were fired.
Nelisiwe Nyanisa, ward 21 councillor, said it was too early to determine if the shooting was related to taxi violence.
“At the moment there are a lot of unverified stories flying around,” she said.
“But if it is indeed a taxi war then we need to engage the association because we cannot have a situation where members of the public are put in harm’s way like this,” she said.
Nyanisa said the crime rate in the township was “very high” and she was surprised as to how it has escaped the attention of the media.
Almost every week I am burying a child, the situation here has gone out of control and we are not sure what to do anymore.
Mduduzi Makhungo, of the KwaZulu-Natal South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), said they were not aware of the incident but they will be engaging the association to get a report on the state of affairs in the area.