LIMPOPO police have launched a man-hunt after a taxi boss was gunned down outside his home at Ga-Matshwi Village, Bolobedu, outside Tzaneen in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Moatshe Ngoepe said Lucas “Sheleni” Mashele was shot and killed in front of his gate shortly after 3am in suspected taxi related violence.
He said Mashele (37) was a long distance taxi owner and operated between Bolobedu and Gauteng.
Ngoepe said the motive behind the murder was not clear at this stage but police cannot rule out taxi violence.
“The Police investigations are still continuing. Anyone with information about the suspects in this matter may contact LT. Colonel Mathebula on 082 414 3309, or the crime stop number 0860010111 or the crime line SMS 32211 or the nearest Police Station,” appealed Ngoepe.
This is the latest in a series of taxi violence incidents that have claimed lives and caused chaos on Limpopo roads in recent months.
In November 2016, a 30 year-old taxi driver was arrested for allegedly shooting dead a colleague at a traffic intersection next to the Seshego Police Station outside Polokwane.
At the time, Ngoepe said the shooter had alighted from a taxi parked behind, slapped the 25 year-old victim before producing a gun and shooting him dead on the spot.
He said the deceased, who was shot at close range, died while still behind the steering wheel.
The Seshego murder had taken place shortly after a taxi was set alight during a bitter feud between taxi operators at the Indian Centre Taxi Rank in Polokwane.
Fights among members of the Letaba and Oaks Taxi Associations in Ga-Sekororo and Tzaneen had reportedly claimed the life of a taxi marshal in November last year, while another driver was shot and wounded in the same area.
The incident had disrupted the lives of commuters in Ga-Sekororo and left them fearing for their lives.
Last year, commuters traveling between the Polokwane CBD and Mall of the North were also left stranded and under siege for months due to taxi related violence over routes.