Police follow leads after taxi operator killing

The Eastern Cape police yesterday confirmed they were following leads in the murder of the 45-year-old taxi operator gunned down on Monday afternoon.

TRAGIC END: An East London taxi operator was shot dead in Braelyn Extension. Two suspects who melted into the crowd afterwards are still at large Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA

The deceased, identified yesterday as Rogers Ntsizi, was shot in East London’s Braelyn Extension as he was approaching a stop sign.

Ntsizi was the 35th victim who has died in a taxi-related shooting in areas around East London, Mdantsane, Mthatha and other areas of the OR Tambo district since 2015.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni yesterday said a case of murder has been opened after Ntsizi’s killing.

“The case has since been handed over to the provincial organised crime detectives for further investigation,” he said.

Tonjeni said Ntsizi was shot in the upper body, and had succumbed to his wounds on the scene.

“No one was arrested but police are following leads.”

The deceased was a member of the Mdantsane Uncedo Services Taxi Association (Mdusta).

He was the second Mdusta member to be killed in the space of a week, after the fatal shooting of Mthetheleli “Mtheza” Mqala at the Mdantsane Highway Taxi rank last week.

Both the deceased had competed for the chairmanship of the association, a contest which Mqala won by a huge margin.

Mdusta leadership could not be drawn into commenting on the recent murders yesterday.

The Dispatch was also unable to get contact details for Ntsizi’s family at the time of writing yesterday.

Uncedo Taxi Association president Ntsikelelo Gaehler yesterday said they were in the dark about what was happening concerning the murders of their members.

However, he called for peace.

“When Mtheza was killed we were all shocked. We are still searching for what could have been the motive for his killing, and now Rogers is killed while we are still looking for answers,” he said.

Gaehler emphasised that they wanted all the problems that the industry has to be resolved without further bloodshed.

“This is happening in their branch, and we are saying they must come forward to the leadership so that we can discuss these things and come with solutions to the problems,” said Gaehler.

Tonjeni urged anyone with information that could help speedily solve this case to share their information with the police.

“The valuable information will be kept highly confidential,” he said. bonganif@dispatch.co.za

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