The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has distanced the taxi industry from a shooting that claimed one life and left three others wounded in Retreat on Thursday.
At about 9am shots were fired at the corner of Joe Mark’s Boulevard and Swanswyk Road.
According to police spokesperson FC van Wyk, while circumstances leading to the shooting were being investigated, the motive could possibly be “taxi related”.
“According to reports, SAPS members attended a complaint at the mentioned address. On their arrival, they found the body of an unidentified male (in his 30s) with a gunshot wound to the head and three others injured. Circumstances surrounding this shooting incident are under investigation.
The motive for this incident could be taxi related. The suspect/s fled the scene and are yet to be arrested,” Van Wyk said.
However, Santaco deputy chairperson Gershon Geyer said it was “not taxi related”.
“We haven’t received any news of any incidents related to the minibus taxi industry. Nobody from that region knows anything. I don’t why they say it is taxi related because the regional secretary confirmed it is not,” he said.
The shooting happened hours after Western Cape High Court Judge Derek Wille advised Santaco, the City and the mobility department that they had until noon on Friday to draft an order that they all agreed on, otherwise he would make an order.
Judge Wille heard arguments from the parties on Thursday after the taxi body filed an urgent interdict application alleging the City added another condition that permitted their traffic officers to impound taxis for being off an agreed route.
Respondents in the court action include the City, the mobility department and Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga.
However, Chikunga filed a notice of withdrawal at the 11th hour.
Santaco also claimed authorities failed to abide by the terms of an August 10 agreement that ended the eight-day taxi stayaway after 14 minibus taxis were impounded on Friday and on Saturday.
Santaco’s counsel, advocate Morne Basson, argued that his clients were prepared to agree to the impounding of minibus taxis in respect of transgressions including driving without an operating licence, a vehicle that is not in a roadworthy condition, or deemed to be so defective as to be a danger to persons or property, and operating without a valid driver’s licence or professional driving permit.
“Then mayco member for safety and security JP Smith went to the media on Wednesday speaking about four conditions in the terms (of) agreement when it came to taxis. This is already a very sensitive matter for such remarks about not negotiating with mafias,” he said.
Santaco also filed a draft order that was apparently agreed on, which included that within 14 days, the task team would review the balance of the standard operating licence conditions applicable to minibus taxis to reach agreement.
The City’s counsel, advocate Anton Katz, argued that while they would support the draft order, they did not accept the wording or language used after Santaco’s representative made changes to the terms of agreement.
The initial agreement read: “This agreement is premised on there being no taxi-related violence in future. Any resumption of violence will nullify this agreement.” The draft order stated: “The provision of at least 36 hours strike notice by (Santaco). Each party to pay its own costs.”
Mobility MEC Ricardo Mackenzie’s representative, advocate Ranjan Jaga SC, wanted the matter to be struck off the roll with costs arguing that he was not certain why his client was involved.