Cape Town cracks down on taxi violence

2011-03-14 16:04

Cape Town - One man was killed and a 4-year-old girl was injured by a rubber bullet as the minibus taxi strike in Cape Town turned violent on Monday.

But speaking at a media briefing in central Cape Town, Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle, community safety MEC Albert Fritz and provincial police commissioner General Arno Lamoer all insisted that law enforcement officials will be out in full force to crack down on any violence.

This follows incidents across the city related to the SA National Taxi Council’s (Santaco) strike against the provincial government.

The violence began early on Monday morning with the death of a bread delivery employee who was shot dead at Nyanga’s taxi rank. The bakery truck was also burned.

Lamoer said that, as yet, no one had been arrested for the murder.

Later, a 4-year-old girl was injured by a rubber bullet at Nyanga clinic during clashes between stone-throwing strikers and police. Lamoer said the rubber bullet “ricocheted” and hit the girl.

Carlisle quickly added: “She is not seriously injured.” She was said to be talking and playing soon after receiving treatment.

He also said that 37 Golden Arrow buses had been stoned and 17 passengers and a driver injured while six bakkies had been burnt.

Strange vehicles

The MEC warned of threats to others in the industry who refused to join the strike.

“The public, particularly in Mitchells Plain, are warned about three vehicles whose occupants are armed; a maroon VW Golf, silver Toyota Avanza and a white Toyota Venture.”

Santaco secretary general Phillip Taaibosch said his members were protesting about two matters - the red tape and "sloppiness" around the issuing of operating licences by the provincial government, and the "draconian" traffic laws.

But Carlisle countered that the strike wasn’t about problems the taxi organisation had with the Western Cape government but was about power struggles within Santaco. He added that there were many taxi unions within the province who didn’t support the strike.

Taaibosch hit back, telling News24 that "Santaco is one, both in the Western Cape and nationally".

"Mr Carlisle must stop making such claims," he added. He also claimed that of the nine Santaco districts in the Western Cape, only one had not joined the strike.

City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Transport, Councillor Elizabeth Thompson, said Santaco had also raised the issue of the City's Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system on numerous occasions but she insisted that “come hell or high water” the new transport plan will be going ahead.

Carlisle said that SA Police Service, Metro Police, Cape Town Traffic Services and Provincial Traffic Services “are fully deployed and will be so throughout the night”.

He said he expects the strike to end by Wednesday.

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  • Chris - 2011-03-14 16:12

    "are fully deployed and will be so throughout the night" - why can't this be the norm 24\7 in all the problem areas?

      dubloki - 2011-03-14 16:23

      Cause it costs too much?

  • Gorilla - 2011-03-14 16:20

    What is our useless army doing? Eating pies?

      timgregorysa - 2011-03-14 16:31

      the army should never be deployed for civilian matters.. they are not trained to be policemen.

  • ji - 2011-03-14 16:24

    shoot all the taxi drivers now and save lives in the future

  • Banana_Rama - 2011-03-14 16:42

    The thing that remains constantly baffling about these strikes: why target the innocent who are trying to work and earn a decent living? Just because they want to use a bus, train or even walk to get to work when a taxi cannot take them, due to a strike on unreasonable grounds, people should be stoned/shot at/killed? Yes, that should make people support your cause. Intimidation solves everything, doesn't it? Bloody joke...

  • thandiwen - 2011-03-14 16:59

    I hate to say it, but it's times like this when I hate being 'black.' This behaviour reinforces all the negative stereotypes other races have about my people.Not all of us support violence,but when the faces you see throwing stones, stabbing each other, burning buses are after day,if you are so inclined,you will find the racist 'proof' you've been searching for.Some people seemingly WANT to be treated like the animals they say they aren't.

      Kat - 2011-03-14 18:35

      One sane voice crying in the wilderness...

      Madelane - 2011-03-14 19:33

      Thandiwen believe or not but most people realise that one cannot generalise based on the colour of ones skin. There are idiots and there are normal people who just want to get on with life. Sadly the idiots receive the bulk of the media coverage because of the way they behave and conduct themselves including in these posts. Take care.

      pop101 - 2011-03-14 22:17

      Nah man, it's only the Taxi drivers. And we all know they are their own species.

      Janine - 2011-03-15 09:27

      Luckily not all South Africans engage in racial stereotyping.

      paulf - 2011-03-15 09:47

      The ANC's Motives are the same as Satan's, Kill,Steal and Destroy at any cost!!!!. The ANC's Heaven is actually Hell!!!!

  • Mgayi - 2011-03-14 17:01

    Mowbray kaap ! The taxi industry does not want to be governed by the laws of the republic , the same can be said about the general population in the WC

      garco - 2011-03-14 17:29

      Mgayi with all due respect, WC population has got nothing to do with this. The taxi industry is being run by criminals. The government should not just use force but sue the Union for not controling their members. It's the case with all unions. South africans never got rid of the violant apartheid like behaviour and don't realise there is a constitution. Even though this is a civilian matter which involves the police, if it was train cables that was sabotaged, the defence force would have to intervene though. One more time, don't you dare accusing the WC population ass$%@%^#le Sue the taxi bosses for all the damages. they will think twice next time about callng a strike.

      Mgayi - 2011-03-15 07:48

      @Marco You are dead right , the WC population has got nothig to do with the taxi violence . . .I was merely pointing out the similarity between the taxi industry that wants to self regulate whilst the greater WC population wants to secede from RSA and selfgovern . No offense to the people of WC

  • Alfred - 2011-03-14 17:48

    People people why not striking once against the Taxi industrie!!! Take a bus or a train, or organise urself with car sharing or something similar!! Don't use the taxi anymore!!! Maybe than they learn something??!!

      Kat - 2011-03-14 18:39

      Alfred these taxidrivers know their customers. If they are seen sharing a drive with somebody else, they are attacked. My nanny has been threatened so many times that they will be killed if they try a different means of transport. I told her to stay at home as it is too dangerous to take this risk. Shameful.....

  • boetiea - 2011-03-15 07:05

    I think the army should be called in - trained to handle civillian matters or not. The SAPS do not have much training either judging by what we read about their methods in peace time. Just stop this wildcat strike.

  • Annonomous - 2011-03-15 08:26

    The strike must stop innocent people is getting injured the taxi's decerve what they getting if you know your taxi is not licensed what are you doing on the road!!!

  • Carl Muller - 2011-03-15 09:13

    Can't they bring the same rules for the taxis here in Pretoria? They will be able to fine all of them, or lock them up. Oops, I forgot, the ANC is in charge AND WON'T TOUCH THEIR FRIENDS....

  • CG1 - 2011-03-15 09:22

    What makes the taxi drivers think they have the right to threaten, injure and even murder innocent people, let alone the destruction to all the vehicles - its not a strike, its anarchy - bring the army in & kick some taxi driver butt!

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