AN accident on the N3 resulting in the discovery of a dead Pietermaritzburg taxi driver with four bullet wounds in his head at the weekend has so far raised more questions than answers.
Sobantu metered taxi driver Bongani Simelane (50) was found on the back seat of a white Toyota on the N3 just after the Ohrtmann Road off-ramp on Saturday morning.
Mountain Rise police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said on Sunday that the Toyota was seen speeding down the off-ramp onto the N3, followed closely by a grey Corsa bakkie.
As the Toyota joined the freeway, it hit the back of a truck, before spinning and crashing into the roadside barrier.
Ebrahim said the truck driver whose vehicle was hit by the Toyota reported having seen a man climbing out of the crumpled car after it hit the barrier.
“The man climbed out of the Toyota and ran across the road. He then ran back to the Toyota before the Corsa bakkie stopped next to the car and then sped away.”
Ebrahim said the truck driver, along with another truck driver who stopped at the roadside as the incident unfolded, approached the Toyota where they found a man with four bullet wounds to the back of the head curled up in a foetal position on the back seat of the car.
Police and traffic officers swarmed to the site, cordoning off the scene and reducing the N3 southbound highway to a single lane for a few hundred metres.
There were blood stains visible on the front passenger door and the back door.
Police combed the area and processed the vehicle for fingerprints and any other evidence that might explain the mysterious circumstances behind Simelane’s death.
It is believed that Simelane was found in possession of his wallet and his cellphone, and nothing appeared to have been stolen from the vehicle.
One police source close to the investigation said that it was suspected that Simelane’s death was possibly the result of a hijacking, but this could not be confirmed.
Simelane’s family members meanwhile told The Witness they believed his murder was linked to tensions within the metered taxi industry.
A relative of Simelane, who asked not to be named, said the metered taxi driver was last seen by his mother and other relatives early on Friday morning before heading to work.
Simelane, who was the breadwinner in his family, would always come home after work. However, that day he did not return and the family did not receive any calls or texts from him, the relative said.
“We believe he was hijacked in town after work on Friday night,” said the relative.
“We think these men drove him around town and that he had already been killed by the time the vehicle hit the truck.”
The relative added that the family believed Simelane’s death may have been related to enemies within the taxi industry.
However, Ebrahim said it was unclear at this stage what the motive for Simelane’s murder was.
She added that it had not yet been confirmed yet exactly when Simelane was shot, or who was driving the vehicle when it hit the back of the truck.
She said the investigation is ongoing