Shot driver dies outside cop shop
A Port Elizabeth driver died outside a police station after a desperate race for help in his bullet-riddled vehicle on Monday night.
Thembalethu Norushe, 44, who had been shot multiple times, died in the Motherwell police station parking lot shortly after 10pm, when he sped in and crashed into a cement pillar outside the Community Service Centre.
He was found by police slumped over the steering wheel of his Toyota Corolla, with the ignition still on.
It is believed that Norushe was a taxi operator.
His death marks the third taxi-related killing in Nelson Mandela Bay in just over a month.
Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said officers in the police station ran outside after hearing the commotion.
“The car doors were locked and there were several bullet holes in the car — in the boot, door and windscreen.
“After attempts to open the doors failed, police broke the driver’s-side window and managed to open the door,” he said.
Beetge said an ambulance was called to the police station but Norushe had already died.
“The vehicle was searched and a bag containing a large sum of money was found as well as two cellphones,” he said.
Beetge said while the motive for the killing was unclear at this stage, nothing could be ruled out.
“The shooting took place somewhere else, but where exactly is still unknown.”
Due to the recent murders of two Port Elizabeth taxi bosses and Border Alliance taxi association members, detectives said a targeted killing could not be ruled out.
“One of the policemen recognised the deceased and knew his girlfriend. They live close to the police station,” Beetge said.
According to the girlfriend, Norushe had left for a meeting at 9.30pm.
“It has since emerged that he was going to attend a taxi-related meeting in NU10,” Beetge said.
He said that, according to Norushe’s girlfriend, Norushe was involved with the taxi industry in the Bay.
Border Alliance Taxi Association president Songezo Mpanda was unable to confirm immediately if Norushe was a member, but said he was looking into it.
However, Mandela Bay Regional Taxi Council general secretary Andile Andries said Norushe was a member of the Border taxi body.
According to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, Norushe was the director of four businesses, all registered in the Bay area.
PE Uncedo Taxi Association vice-chair Mzwanele Qwabe said an Arrive Alive annual prayer meeting was scheduled for Thursday at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton and it would also highlight the current situation in the industry.
“We must all stand together,” Qwabe said.
“We have invited everyone and the message is clear — stop the killings of our brothers.
“This is giving the entire industry a bad name. Enough is enough.”