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‘We’re not fighting’

Taxi associations have rubbished claims of fighting between taxi drivers in Delft.

This follows the murder of a 40-year-old taxi driver on Monday, with residents expressing their concerns over fighting between taxi associations in Delft.

Delft Main Road was turned into a crime scene when the taxi driver crashed into a fence after allegedly being shot at a nearby taxi rank.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Brian Daniels says Michael Soko (40) was in his taxi when an unknown suspect opened fire on him at the taxi rank shortly before 05:00.

Soko allegedly tried to flee the scene and crashed into the fence of a house on Delft Main Road.

A portion of the road was subsequently closed as officers conducted their investigation.

When TygerBurger arrived on the scene shortly after 09:00, a large crowd had gathered as Soko’s body was being removed from the taxi.

Daniels says six cartridges were found at the taxi rank and no arrests have been made at this stage.

At this stage we cannot confirm whether a fight between taxi drivers is the cause of the shooting.
Warrant Officer Brian Daniels

While on the scene, TygerBurger noted seven bullet holes in the driver’s side of the taxi, which had been marked by police.

Speaking at the scene, residents claimed the Cata and Codeta taxi associations have been fighting since Friday 10 March.

Reginald Maart, chairperson of the Blue Downs Cluster Community Police Forum (CPF), says that there have been disagreements between the two associations since Friday.

Daniels says while police cannot confirm that taxi drivers from the two associations are fighting, they are aware of another shooting involving a taxi driver.

He says on Friday afternoon a shooting occurred at the same taxi rank, where a taxi driver was robbed and shot in the leg.

“At this stage we cannot confirm whether a fight between taxi drivers is the cause of the shootings. But we will investigate the matter. In the case of the first shooting, the taxi driver was also robbed, so it’s not necessarily linked,” Daniels says.

Vusumzi Miselo, chairperson of Codeta Taxi Association, says the association is not in conflict with any taxi associations in Delft. He says the allegations made by the public that there is ongoing conflict between Cata and Codeta are untrue.

“We are not aware of what led to this incident and therefore cannot speculate as to what the reasons were,” Miselo says.
He adds that they have not received any reports from their drivers about any conflict between themselves and other taxi associations.
Victor Wiwi, chairperson of Cata Taxi Association, confirmed Soko was a member of his association and agreed with Miselo that there was no conflict between the two associations.

“I can confirm that the driver who was shot and killed was a member of Cata at the time of his death, but we are not able to provide any information relating to the shooting and who was behind it,” he says.

Wiwi says they will wait on the police report for more information.

What is your opinion on this article? Let us know at briewe@tygerburger.co.za.

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