FEAR: Delft taxi rank remains quiet, despite assurances that violence is over.Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Calm was restored around Cape Town on Tuesday night after deadly taxi violence claimed the lives of at least 13 people. Rival taxi associations and the ANC met on Tuesday in a bid to end the violence that has caused widespread disruptions.

However, a rumour circulating on social media, warning of further shootings and urging commuters not to take taxis on Wednesday, has everyone on edge.

The Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) said during an ANC arranged press briefing that the leadership of the two organisations had worked together to resolve the conflict.

The press conference was addressed by ANC regional chairperson Xolani Sotashe, along with the SACP district chairperson Monde Nqulwana and Cata and Codeta representatives.

The associations said several meetings had been held since Friday to try to defuse the tension, but still urged police to step up efforts to prevent further killings.

Shootings have taken place in Delft, Nyanga, Khayelitsha and Wynberg, following what was believed to be disputes over operating routes.

Both taxi associations have asked their drivers and passengers not to panic over the WhatsApp voice notes and texts doing the rounds, claiming that taxi owners will seek revenge for all their drivers that have been shot.

READ: Top detectives deployed as Cape taxi violence deaths reach 13

Codeta spokesperson Besutu Ndungane said the situation is calm, taxis are back to normal and the drivers should remain as peaceful as possible.

Cata spokesperson Andile Semayo agreed that the situation is calm and that passengers should come back to taxis as there was no more violence.

Brigadier Novela Potelwa, spokesperson for the provincial commissioner of police said a detective team was busy with operations in the affected areas.

“We have also reinforced deployments at transport hubs throughout Cape Town,” said Potelwa.

For now it does also not seem that taxi ranks will be closed in Delft, Nyanga and Philippi East, where most of the killings occurred.

Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant said no decision had been taken as yet in terms of the Section 91 (NLTA) notices that were issued indicating the minister’s intention to institute extraordinary measures, which may include rank and route closures.

However, at the Cape Town taxi rank, commuters were not assured by the latest peace accord. Sixty-year-old grandmother Nombulelo Hogon, of Gugulethu, said: “This is painful, I have stopped using taxis because of this violence.

“I fear for my life and that of my family, especially my grandchildren.”

An agitated mother Zakhe Klaas from Khayelitsha, who works at Wynberg asked: “Why do we live like this?”

“We risk our lives and come to work because we want bread for our children, my prayer is for this taxi violence to stop before it gets out of hand,” said Zakhe Klaas.

Cape Argus