MEC in urgent talks over increase in deadly taxi violence in Western Cape
The recent murders include three operators who were shot dead in Nyanga yesterday, and three who were killed in Philippi East on Friday.
Provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the Organised Crime Taxi Investigation Team was investigating murder and attempted murder cases.
In Nyanga yesterday, a taxi driver and his assistant were killed in a hail of bullets by unknown suspects at about 5am. According to Potelwa, the two had just arrived in the area from the Eastern Cape when the suspects fired shots at the taxi.
A few minutes later, a 24-year-old taxi driver was shot and killed on the corner of Sheffield and New Eisleben Roads, also in Nyanga, while sitting in a vehicle with other drivers.
“The taxi drivers in a Quantum vehicle came under fire from unknown suspects just after 5am. A 24-year-old taxi driver died at the scene while two others sustained serious injuries and were taken to a medical facility,” said Potelwa.
These two incidents come after three taxi drivers, aged 25, 27 and 33, were gunned down in Phillipi East by unknown suspects on Friday.
Two other men, aged 28 and 38, were wounded during the shooting.
Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela held a meeting with taxi associations yesterday in efforts to resolve the shootings.
“The issues of operating licences and route invasions have been identified as the main causes behind the taxi conflict. However, it is not yet clear what is behind the recent killings.
"There have been 40 taxi-related murders and 20 cases of attempted murders across the province,” said Madikizela.
Affected areas include Mbekweni in Paarl, Delft, Bellville, Bloekombos, Ceres, Masiphumelele and Nyanga.
“These cases involve either Cata, Codeta or affiliated associations. These murders are condemned in the strongest possible terms.
"The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works will assist the SAPS with any information they may require. We need a stable and safe taxi industry for the sake of our commuters. I am confident that the team of detectives are closing in on the masterminds and paymasters, ”said Madikizela.
Anyone with information on the incidents can anonymously contact Lieutenant-Colonel Tarentaal at 079 894 1379.