Taxi Wars : 3 commuters shot dead in KZN

Amanda Khoza, News24

Durban – Moments after a security guard got off his night shift on Wednesday and started walking to the train station to go home, he was felled by gunfire - one of three people killed by gunmen at the Brook Street taxi rank. Three people were also injured.

The man, who cannot be named because his family has not been notified, was rushing to catch a train to Umlazi.

A colleague, Salias Mudiba, said the dead man was employed at Mi7 Security Intelligence and contracted to the Durban University of Technology.

Mudiba said he received a phone call while he was on duty at the Steve Biko Campus on Wednesday morning.

"The person said one of my security guards had been shot and I sent my men there. When he arrived there, my colleague was lying there, already dead."

Mudiba said he was heartbroken. "These are our workers. Losing him is really painful, because he never did anything wrong. He was just on his way home."

Mudiba said the man was a good and polite person "who only did his work".

'All of a sudden, shots were fired'

A security guard working at the Brook Street Cemetery, who asked not to be named, said he arrived at work at around 5:30.

"I saw a group of about 10 men who jumped out of a taxi and walked past, wearing big jackets. They looked very normal to me.

"Then, all of a sudden, shots were fired. The incident went on for about 45 minutes. I heard the security at the rank retaliate and there was an exchange of gunfire."

He said people ran for cover in different directions.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said 11 suspects had been arrested for attempted murder and murder.

"On arrival at the Port Shepstone taxi line, three people had already been shot and killed and the other three had been taken to the hospital for treatment."

He said 25 firearms were recovered at the scene.

"The men will appear at the Durban Magistrate's Court soon, facing charges of murder and attempted murder."

Provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni condemned the shooting.

"I have tasked the Provincial Taxi Violence Task Team to thoroughly investigate this incident and make sure that those involved are prosecuted," she said.