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Three passengers killed in hail of bullets as gunmen attack taxi in Harding

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Three people aboard a minibus taxi were killed when their vehicle was ambushed by gunmen in Harding on the KZN south coast on Tuesday.

The three were part of a total four passengers in the taxi. The remaining passenger and the taxi driver were seriously injured in the hail of bullets and are fighting for their lives in hospital.

KwaZulu-Natal police said they are investigating three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

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It’s understood that the driver of the minibus taxi was ferrying four commuters from the KwaMachi area to Harding when a group of armed suspects ambushed the taxi in the Gundrifts area.

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“Harding police are investigating three counts of murder and two of attempted murder following an incident where five people were shot by unknown people,” said KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala.

Two people died at the scene while another died in hospital.

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Two others – including the taxi driver – were seriously injured and taken to hospital.

The incident is suspected to be related to taxi violence which has rocked the province recently.

The taxi industry in the area has been experiencing a sharp increase in violence.

Last month, eight people, including two taxi owners, were killed, and one was injured in two drive-by shootings in the province on Thursday.

It was reported that the deceased was seated inside a vehicle when a white double-cab bakkie approached them and an unknown number of suspects opened fire, killing three people immediately.

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The ongoing taxi war has raised fears among taxi commuters who fear for their lives.

Sifiso Shangase, manager of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in KZN, has condemned the attack.

“We send our condolences to the families of the deceased, and we further wish a speedy recovery to those in hospital,” Shangase told SA Trucker.

He said such attacks were harmful to the taxi industry’s reputation.

“We call on all witnesses to share information with the police. If the attack is related to conflict within the industry, we wish to encourage dialogue as violence will only cause more harm,” he said.

Shangase added that Santaco had conflict resolution structures and appealed to those affected to reach out to them.

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