IN A BAD LIGHT: Taxi violence hurts the industry, says the South African national taxi association. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Taxi violence is escalating into all-out war, with four more killings in the early hours of on Monday bringing the total to 13 murders in two days.

Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant labelled the killings “a bloody war”. Grant added that taxi shootings were a symptom of organised crime. Police said on Monday a task team of top detectives had been deployed.

Tactical response and national intervention unit teams were also deployed at hot spots. Provincial police said emergency meetings with role-players in the transport sector, the City of Cape Town, traffic services and SAPS were under way.

READ MORE: Cape taxi commuters told ‘not to panic’ over recent violence

After the killing of Nazeem Daniels, 40, chairperson of the Delft Taxi Association, at the Delft taxi rank last week, violence escalated.

The police said that on Saturday, a 60-year-old man was found with gunshot wounds and a 60-year-old woman was also found injured in Khayelitsha. They said these violent incidents were related to the taxi violence.

During the recent spate of violence another taxi driver was killed in Philippi East on Saturday. This was followed by the killing of a man in his forties in Nyanga on Friday.

A 35-year-old commuter was shot and wounded in Nyanga and a 28-year-old man was also shot at in Wynberg on Friday but not injured.

In Philippi East, a 43-year-old man was also shot and fatally wounded.

On Friday in Philippi East, a 26-year-old man was fatally wounded. That evening at about 7.45pm, a 27-year-old man was also shot and killed.

On the same day at 8.10pm on Eisleben Road, a taxi driver was killed. This was followed by the killing of a 40-year-old man. Two more taxi drivers were later shot and killed in Nyanga.

Meanwhile, Delft Gangwatch has warned people not to use taxis on the Delft route.

A Facebook post said: “We just want to tell people to use common sense and look at the fact that two rival taxi unions operate in and around Delft.

With this in mind, we can say that it is really not safe to take taxis on this route.”

Taxi bosses and unions gave no clarity to SAPS law enforcement that commuters would be safe.

Santaco spokesperson Nazeem Abduraghman said they condemned the flare-up in taxi violence “or any killings and violence”.

RELATED: Delft taxi rank could be closed after chairperson's murder

“I understand that the taxi associations had a meeting with the MEC. The associations should start talking around the table,” he said.

The portfolio committee on police also called for specialised units to deal with taxi violence. Portfolio committee on police chairperson Francois Beukman, said: “SAPS task teams, tactical response team and national intervention unit should be strategically deployed to ensure that the increase in taxi violence and cash-in-transit heists is dealt with comprehensively.

“The murders over the weekend in Cape Town are worrying in the context of the high number of commuters that use taxis daily. The lives of the majority of our people are put at risk as a result of these apparent disagreements within the associations,” Beukman said.

“More crime intelligence assets should be allocated to those industries being held ransom by a small band of well-armed and resourced criminal syndicates. The National Development Plan is very clear that technology should be used optimally by the police service to deal with crime effectively,” he said.

Beukman also called on members of the public who may have information about the actions of criminal syndicates to contact their nearest police station or submit the information to the toll-free crime line.

The portfolio committee on police also conveyed its condolences to the bereaved family and community members.

@RusanaPhilander

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Cape Argus