Taxi driver in possession of unlicensed firearm arrested
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Cape Town - As taxi operations resumed on Tuesday, a taxi driver wearing a bulletproof vest was arrested in the Milnerton area for the possession of an unlicensed firearm.
The 48-year-old driver was arrested just after 5am after his vehicle was pulled over during a police and Metro Police joint roadblock.
Metro Police spokesperson Ruth Solomons said while interviewing the driver, they noticed he was wearing a bulletproof vest, and had a firearm holster on his side.
When the taxi driver was asked whether he had a firearm in his possession, he allegedly confirmed that he did.
“Officers then found a 9mm Norinco pistol and five rounds of ammunition, but the driver couldn’t produce a license for the firearm. The 48-year-old man was detained at Milnerton SAPS.”
Taxi operated a very limited service for the past three weeks as rival taxi associations, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta), were at loggerheads over the B97 route, which runs between the Mbekweni taxi rank and the Bellville taxi rank.
This has resulted in 26 murders linked directly to the taxi industry in July alone.
Cata and Codeta signed a peace agreement on Monday afternoon in the presence of Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and MEC Daylin Mitchell in hopes to end the deadly conflict which left thousands of commuters stranded.
The agreement includes a ceasefire.
Mbalula and Mitchell visited Paarl on Tuesday to assess train operations and the closure of Route B97 between Paarl and Bellville.
Meanwhile, DA provincial Committee spokesperson on Transport and Public Works Ricardo Mackenzie said the provincial department’s commitment to suspend the license of parties that instigate further violence was also set to contribute to incentivising a safer taxi industry.
“Whilst this agreement and the ongoing arbitration process will provide the foundations for stability in the industry, our view remains that there must be accountability and consequences for those involved in criminal activities within the industry. “It cannot be that the cases of 87 deaths this year and over 333 over four years will continue to be at the mercy of our slow criminal justice system, which has a meagre 5.3% conviction rate for taxi-violence related crimes. In order for our roads to be safe and for closure to be brought to those who have lost loved ones as a result, justice needs to be seen to be carried out,” said Mackenzie.
More on this story will follow in the Cape Times.