Cape Town – The police have been deployed on taxi routes around Cape Town following a spate of shootings to ensure the safety of commuters.
This after the conflict between rival taxi associations Cata and Codeta claimed the lives of seven taxi drivers in separate shootings incidents throughout the City of Cape Town this morning.
The shootings started yesterday, when a taxi driver travelling from Bellville to Khayelitsha was shot dead by an unknown man.
The shootings continued this morning in what is seemed to be revenge killings.
Commuters were not spared as they were caught in the crossfire.
In the first shooting incident, this morning, a 41-year-old taxi driver was behind the steering wheel of his vehicle on the corners of De la Rey Road and Uitsig Avenue in Ravensmead when occupants from another taxi fired several gunshots at the taxi.
“The victim was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
“Ravensmead police are investigating a case of attempted murder,” said police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk
The Weekend Argus is in possession of a voice note sent by a terrified taxi driver in Philippi East.
In the voice note, the driver calls for others to come as they are being shot at in the taxi rank.
In the clip the driver calls for help saying: “They are shooting here, there are the shots going off and we are not sure what is going on there by the containers, we ran to the back of our cars. They are shooting here at the rank, they are shooting at us, they are shooting. We are here at Luzuko(Philippi), they are shooting can you hear the shots? Hey man, come through here two drivers have just been shot.”
Gunshots can be heard in the background and two taxi drivers were confirmed dead following the shooting.
In another, a taxi was stationary in Potsdam Road, Dunoon at about 7am.
The 35-year-old victim was seated inside the vehicle when unknown suspects fired random shots at the vehicle.
“A 35-year-old male was fatally wounded and declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel.
“Table View police are investigating a case of murder,” said Van Wyk.
Meanwhile, at about 6.30am, a taxi with occupants was standing at the intersection of New Eisleben and Sheffield Roads in Philippi East when a taxi with unknown occupants stopped next to them.
The occupants fired numerous gunshots at the stationary vehicle.
“Two males aged 33 and 24 were declared deceased on the scene whilst two males both aged 35 were transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment,” confirmed Van Wyk.
There was another shooting at about 8.15am, where commuters were standing on Duinefontein Road in Samora Machel.
Unknown occupants in a vehicle fired numerous gunshots at the commuters and fled the scene in an undisclosed direction.
“One 40-year-old male was declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel, while two males aged 45 and 39 years old respectively sustained gunshot wounds and were transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment,” said Van Wyk.
The shootings are believed to be over routes.
Another shooting happened in Bellville but the police are still combing the scene.
“Our members are busy with roadblocks, checkpoints and we are working to get more information to send out.”
Van Wyk said no arrests are yet to be made.
“Any person with information regarding these incidents is kindly requested to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10 111.”
Today’s shooting brings the total number of taxi related murders in the Western Cape to 71 since January, with attempted murders and injuries at 33 over the same period.
Daylin Mitchell, MEC of Transport and Public Works, together with officials from the Department of Community Safety, are currently attending an emergency meeting of the Transport Priority Committee with the SAPS and other enforcement and Intelligence authorities, to agree on an integrated government approach to restore calm and to bring the perpetrators of the violence to book.
“I must emphasise that the Western Cape Government will not compromise on the rule of law and my department is working closely with the SAPS as they continue with their investigations into the murders and other taxi related crimes in Cape Town and other parts of the province.
“I have also called the leadership of Santaco, the Cata and Codeta to an urgent meeting where we will discuss interventions to stem the growing tide of violence between associations affiliated to the two mother bodies – with specific focus on violence associated with the fight for control over routes.”