56 killed, 106 arrested in Western Cape taxi war
Cape Town – Taxi-related violence in the province has claimed the lives of 56 people so far this year.
This was according to Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela following separate meetings with the leadership of the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Associations (Cata) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) to engage with them on the current taxi related violence and murders that involve their members and affiliates
Taxi associations affiliated to the two mother-bodies have been involved in tit-for-tat attacks and hits on rivals as they vie for control over taxi routes and ranks throughout the Western Cape, including current “hotspots” in Bellville, Mbekweni, Houtbay, Masiphumelele, Ceres and other areas.
Madikizela said there were 56 taxi-related murders and 32 attempted murders between January 1 and August 17 this year.
“At the start of both meetings, I warned of the possible closure of taxi ranks and routes if the violence and shooting incidents do not stop immediately. I called these meetings with Codeta and Cata, not just to sternly address the leadership about the senseless murders and attempted murders that recently also led to three commuters being caught in the crossfire when gunmen opened fire at the rank in Bellville, but also to provide leaders with a safe space to talk freely about the underlying causes of the tensions and violence,” Madikizela said.
“Cata and Codeta leaders expressed their concerns and complaints along with their own proposals towards the resolution of specific disputes, from which I and my officials were able to extract a number of common threads that have been used to craft a set of resolutions that were sent to both parties and to affected municipalities for their inputs.”
The department would further engage municipalities on the management of public transport ranks and interchanges and the implementation of proper access control and security measures, he added.
Cata secretary Mandla Hermanus said taxi associations have vowed to come up with solutions to the fighting.
“We had a very vital meeting with the MEC and he has promised to get back to us regarding the proposals we made during the meeting. We discussed various issues including the fighting over the Paarl route. He has also stated that certain harsh steps will be taken if the fighting continues.
“We are glad certain people were arrested regarding the recent shootings. Now what is left for them is to face the law.” Codeta spokesperson Besuthu Ndungane could not be reached for comment yesterday.