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Suspected taxi hitman killed in shootout with police

By Lungi Langa

An alleged taxi hitman who was on the Saps’ Most Wanted list has died in a dramatic shootout with police in Durban.

Police found Sizwe “Maqhinga” Langa, 35, when officers from the Rapid Rail Police Unit and the provincial Investigations and Tracking Task team conducted an intelligence-driven operation at Sea View. They found him at a house on Braid Avenue on Monday.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said when the alleged hitman, who was in the taxi industry in the South Coast area, noticed the presence of the police, he fired shots at the police. The subsequent shootout resulted in his death.

He was found with a 9mm pistol that had a rubbed off serial number and ammunition.

Netshiunda said the suspect was highly sought after by the police in connection with various murders on the South Coast.

“The suspect was being sought for six taxi-related murders in Scottburgh and two in uMbumbulu,” he said.

The matter was referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for further investigation.

It is alleged that the suspect was among an unknown number of suspects suspected of shooting and killing four men between the ages of 30 and 43 on Thursday afternoon last week.

It is believed that the men were attacked while seated inside a car on the Dududu off-ramp from the N2 northbound when they were approached by a white double cab bakkie and were attacked with a hail of bullets. Three of the men died on the spot.

One of the suspected killers succumbed to gunshot injuries at the hospital.

Another man who was shot during Thursday’s incident and recovering in hospital was placed under police guard as it was discovered that he was on the police’s wanted list for a murder committed in Harding in February 2020.

Netshiunda said two of the men killed on Thursday were local taxi owners.

“The motive of the killings is yet to be established but taxi-related violence could not be ruled out,” he said.

South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) secretary for Ugu region, Richard “Rich” Mchunu, said they were not aware of any taxi related incidents related to the recent incidents.

He said if there were any violent incidents related to the taxi industry they would have been informed and “we would have then related the information to you properly”.

Mchunu said they were looking forward to seeing what the investigations by the police would reveal regarding these incidents.

Pictured above: Gun found in the possession of the alleged taxi hitman who died during the shootout with police in Durban

Image source: Saps