Arrest of Tshwane taxi hitmen hailed
Pretoria - Taxi violence has no place in Tshwane ‒ and all perpetrators must be jailed and their industry membership terminated.
This is according to joint chairperson of the Tshwane taxi industry Piet Mahlangu, who hailed the arrest of four suspects linked to the killing of three Atteridgeville taxi operators.
Mahlangu said this news was welcomed by all role players in the Tshwane taxi industry, including the SA National Taxi Council and National Taxi Alliance, chaired in the region by Abner Tsebe and Mahlangu.
“We applaud the police because here in Tshwane we have unwanted incidents of taxi violence. We have been calling on the police to investigate and make arrests so that perpetrators can be sentenced and convicted,” said Mahlangu.
The alleged taxi hitmen were arrested by the Gauteng Provincial Taxi Task Team.
MEC Faith Mazibuko said officials recovered two unlicensed firearms with live ammunition as well as cellphones.
MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabolo announced the arrest of the suspects last week, saying the suspects were found in possession of illegal firearms, ammunition and stolen cellphones.
This came shortly after the department released a report from a commission of inquiry into the taxi violence in Gauteng, led by retired Judge Jeremiah Shongwe.
Mahlangu said the Tshwane taxi industry was still collecting submissions from taxi associations across the metro in reaction to the report, and would call a media briefing next week to detail their reaction to the government’s findings.
The commission of inquiry’s report found that taxis that belonged to taxi associations and “powerful” taxi bosses were skipping lines at taxi ranks, resulting in resentment that led to some of the taxi violence in the province. This led to violence.
Mamabolo also commended police for their sterling work in Tshwane. He also commended the SAPS Gauteng task team and the Gauteng Traffic Police for acting proactively to prevent taxi violence in Lawley, south of Johannesburg, for arresting a heavily armed security company with links to the taxi industry.
“This sterling work by the task team comes at a time when we as a province have declared 2021 as the year of ending taxi violence. It is encouraging to see the good work being done on the ground to rid the industry of murderers,” said Mamabolo.
“We want to issue a stern warning to those in the industry who pay murderers and stoke the fires of violence, that the law is closing in.
“We are working very hard together with law-enforcement agencies to ensure that no stone is left unturned in uncovering the plots and arresting those responsible. The law will prevail,” warned the MEC.