Shock after taxi driver slain

Police cordoned off a large section of Main Road on Monday after a shootout saw one taxi driver robbed of his life in the early hours of the morning.

The Central Unity Taxi Association has expressed shock at the murder of one of its drivers in Hout Bay this week.

The village awoke to gruesome scenes in Main Road on Monday April 23. The body of slain taxi driver Mvuzo Ntakana, 37, lay covered in a bloody tarp as residents made their way to work.

According to Hout Bay police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch, minibus taxis had gathered opposite the police station from 3am.

“The taxis started picking up commuters, and at about 4am a shooting between (members) of taxi groups occurred in Main Road. A taxi driver from Delft was shot in the head and died at the scene. A murder docket has been opened,” she said.

It is unclear who did the shooting, and no arrests have been made.

Norman Majombozi, vice-chairperson of the Central Unity Taxi Association, confirmed that Mr Ntakana was a full member of the association.

“He had been with us for about six or seven years. He was very well-liked and was a very hard worker. We are all shocked by what has happened,” he said.

Like other parts of Cape Town, Hout Bay has been hit hard by the bus strike.

The shooting caused Main Road to be closed for a large part of the day on Monday, forcing traffic, including minibus taxis, to be rerouted to Victoria Road.

Long lines of commuters could be seen waiting for taxis as police forensic teams descended on the scene where the driver’s body lay. A group of taxi drivers gathered near a large police contingent were visibly distraught at the sight of their fallen colleague.

There has been a marked increase in taxi violence in Hout Bay this year.

In February, hundreds of people were left homeless after the home of a taxi driver was burnt down in Dontse Yakhe, with the fire spreading to neighbouring shacks (“Taxis at heart of fire,” Sentinel, February 16).

Later that month, a 22-year-old man was killed during a shooting incident outside the OK Mini-Mart in Hout Bay.

Another man was shot inside the store and sustained injuries to his head.

The provincial Department of Transport and Public Works said the taxi-related violence in Cape Town is believed to be linked to infighting within the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA).

However, CATA spokesperson, Andile Seyamo, said the driver killed on Monday was not part of his association.

“As far as we know, he drove passengers from Hout Bay to Cape Town, but he was not part of Cata,” he said.

Charmaine Bailey, of the Hout Bay-Wynberg Taxi Association, was aware of Monday’s shooting, but the association’s executive did not know the deceased man.