Pensioner caught in PMB taxi war crossfire: ‘We saw bullets flying past us’

‘Then we just heard gunshots – just bang, bang, bang – and we saw bullets flying past us, then we saw this man falling and full of blood everywhere.’

A 73-year-old pensioner has given a first-hand encounter of being caught in this morning’s taxi shootout near the N3, in which more than 500 rounds of ammunition are believed to have been fired, Maritzburg Public Eye reports.

Vijay Cheddie was on the way into the CBD to pay his bills together with his 66-year-old wife when their vehicle had to stop near the ML Sultan School on the Chota Motala interchange as a result of what had started as a taxi blockade.

“We were there right in the middle of the whole scenario. At first we didn’t know what was happening. Then we just heard gunshots – just bang! bang! bang – and we saw bullets flying past us, then we saw this man falling and full of blood everywhere. People were getting out of the taxis and running for their lives. It was mayhem; people were running and screaming and the gunshots. We are still so traumatised,” Cheddie said.

Recalling their moments of terror, Cheddie said all he and his wife could do was pray.

“It’s the first time in my 73 years that I have seen something like this. We couldn’t do anything. Our car was stuck in the middle of all the traffic, we couldn’t drive off – we couldn’t get off the car and run. We just prayed that no stray bullets hit us and that we could get home safely. It was very scary and the worst experience in our lives,” said a shaken Cheddie.

Police are still on the scene, and have confirmed that a bystander was shot dead while another person was shot and injured.

The area remains a no-go zone with the Chota Motala interchange being cordoned off as forensics are still on the scene. Traffic is being diverted into Manning Avenue and Orthmann Road into the northern suburbs while the N3 remains open but busy. Traffic in the CBD is affected with heavy congestion.

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