Tow-truck turf wars

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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos courtesy of Wikimedia and Unsplash

When Thavendhren “Joe” Naicker, owner of Gypsy Towlines, returned to his home in Sunford Drive in Phoenix, Durban on the evening of Sunday, 26 October 2019, he anticipated spending time with his three young children after he had recently become a widower. However, he never made it inside. While turning onto his street, an SUV abruptly passed him, made a U-turn and headed towards him. The SUV stopped in front of Joe’s tow-truck and two men exited the vehicle, wielding high-calibre weapons as they approached him. Joe was discovered slumped over the steering wheel and emergency medical personnel pronounced him dead at the scene. In a short space of time, Joe became the third victim of shootings believed to be connected to the rivalry among tow-truck operators in the area (Khan, 2019).

Tow-trucks serve various purposes, including clearing broken-down vehicles and those involved in vehicle crashes. Traffic authorities even use them to enforce parking regulations on both public and private property. Tow-truckers further handle the removal and transportation of vehicles undergoing impoundment or repossession due to payment default. The towing industry presents significant opportunities for entrepreneurs and companies, but it is marked by fierce competition and often lacks proper regulation (Dandurand, 2021).


[This is only an extract of an article that is published in Servamus: July 2024. This article is available for purchase.]

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