Security companies ‘part of taxi war’

2013-11-11 00:00

SAFETY and Liaison MEC Willies Mchunu is considering meeting with Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) to discuss the alleged involvement of security companies in taxi violence and killings in KwaZulu-Natal.

This comes after Mchunu’s intervention led to the signing of a peace deal between taxi associations in Ntuzuma in Durban on Saturday.

The Ntuzuma and Pieseng taxi associations have until recently been embroiled in a feud that led to violence that claimed lives.

“Incidents of random shootings allegedly involving security companies employed by the two taxi associations have been reported in the recent past and this has threatened the safety of commuters who rely on taxis for their transport needs.

“Last week, an innocent commuter, Vincent Gumede, was shot and killed in Ntuzuma on New Road when shooting allegedly ensued between two security companies,” a statement from the department said.

The department said before Saturday’s meeting with the leadership of both taxi associations, Mchunu met with leaders from the community to engage them on government plans to end the ongoing violence in the area.

The meeting, said the department, agreed that the two associations should withdraw the services of security companies.

“They also agreed on sharing the New Road pick-up spots until court challenges on the route are concluded. They will stop launching illegal ranks in the area to avoid conflict.”

Mchunu was confident that the agreement between the two taxi associations would restore order and normalise public transport there.

“The fact that you have agreed to non-violent and peaceful engagements is important. It is unfortunate that people had to lose their lives before you realised the need to resolve this matter amicably.

“As government we will monitor on a daily basis all the operations in Ntuzuma and ensure that you all honour the agreed working agreement,” Mchunu said.

It is the second time that Mchunu had indicated his interest in discussing the involvement of security companies in taxi violence.

Tabling a report on violence and crime last week to the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, Mchunu said he was to ask PSIRA to discuss the security companies’ involvement in taxi violence in kwaDukuza (Stanger), where similar incidents were experienced.

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