Taxi violence flares in Delft

2018-05-17 06:01
CATA taxis at Bellville taxi rank  Taxi operations in Delft have come to a standstill due to a route linked violence that has claimed two lives.                                         PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

CATA taxis at Bellville taxi rank Taxi operations in Delft have come to a standstill due to a route linked violence that has claimed two lives. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Uneasy Cape Amalgamation Taxi Association(Cata) members have urged the police to act swiftly to catch the culprits they accuse of taking down their members.

The association has decried the senseless killing of innocent taxi operators by unknown suspects as tarnishing their image as an organisation.

The violence, which erupted on Friday last week, has left two people dead and two others injured.

“Unidentified attackers opened fire at the Eindhoven Taxi Rank fatally wounding two males age 35 and 40 and injuring at least two other persons last Friday,” said police provincial communication officer Captain FC Van Wyk.

He said several private vehicles and taxis were damaged during the shooting incident. “A double murder and attempted murder case was registered and is under investigation. We have increased police visibility around the taxi rank and on all routes,” said Van Wyk.

He said on Monday morning there were reports of burning tyres at Symphony Road (between Hindle and Saartjie Baartman ) in Delft.

“Public Order Policing members are monitoring the situation with other law enforcement agencies. Our forces will remain on the ground until we are satisfied that law and order have been restored,” said Van Wyk.

Cata Public Relations Officer Andile Soyamo has distanced his organisation from the taxi violence in Delft.

He said the conflict was perpetrated by a group of people who recently joined the taxi industry in the area.

Soyamo said alleged that these people wanted to operate in the area by force without permits, using established routes.

“As Cata members, we are not fighting. The killings started by people who are claiming that they are residents in Delft ... We even called and requested them to join us so that we can work together,” said Soyamo.

“When the group of people joined, we registered about 75 of them, but soon found out they were more than 200.

The same people we registered recruited others behind our backs and against the rules of the industry.

Some of the recruits are from Philippi, Khayelitsha and Kraaifontein and not from Delft.”

He added that they applied for a court order to suspend the membership of the renegade members.

He stressed that Cata doesn’t have a problem with other organisations that are operating in Delft.

“These people only target us because Delft Taxi Association(DTA) and the Congress for Democratic Taxi Association(Codeta) are not affected by the killings and we have good working relationship with them,” said Soyamo.

He added: “They are committing fraud by charging large amounts of money for registration.

One owner from Philippi said he had paid about R95,000 towrds enrolment, which is ridiculous because we never charge people such an amount of money to join the rank.” Soyamo said the joining fee depended on the route the person will operate on.

He emphasised that the taxi violence has nothing to do with other taxis in Nyanga Terminus. “Nyanga Terminus is where the Cata Regional Offices are, and is not involved in the shootings,” he said.

A commuter who stays in Delft and owns a meat stall in Nyanga Terminus said she is concerned about their safety as commuters.

Mamjwarha said: “Our lives are in danger. Anything can happen to us. Since the taxi violence started I haven’t been to work because there are no taxis. And that also affects my businesses too,”

Police are available on: 08600 10 111.

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