KZN taxis: Court interdict to avert 'outbreak of bloody violence'

2015-07-31 12:21
KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu. (File, The Witness)

KZN Transport MEC Willies Mchunu. (File, The Witness)

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Durban - With taxi violence in KwaZulu-Natal nearing boiling point, provincial government has turned to the courts to prevent a complete “outbreak of bloody violence”.

KwaZulu-Natal's Transport and Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu on Thursday obtained an urgent court interdict to prevent the Durban-based Sonke Long Distance Taxi Association from invading other taxi routes.

The association purportedly has strong ties to President Jacob Zuma’s taxi-boss nephew, Mfundo Gcaba, who has recently been accused of spearheading an out-and-out route take over.

According to a statement issued by the department, the move to the court was to avoid “conflict and violence”.

“The interim interdict was granted by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday after several complaints by various associations in the coastal town alleging foul play by Sonke and its affiliates,” it read.

“The decision by MEC Mchunu to resort to court was purely to prevent the outbreak of bloody violence and was part of intervening decisively against illegal operations,” on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

“In fulfillment of our obligation as the government we took an unprecedented move to approach the Pietermaritzburg High court seeking an interdict, restricting Sonke from pursuing this alleged illegal operation."

Among others, the court interdicted and restrained Sonke from threatening, intimidating, physically or verbally assaulting, harassing, insulting or otherwise abusing or provoking reactions from the members of those taxi associations involved.

"This proves our seriousness in maintaining stability and promoting tolerance in the taxi industry. We are determined to do all we can within the rule of law to end conflict and violence in the industry,” said Mchunu.

He also expressed concern at the killing of Zamokuhle taxi association deputy chairperson and ANC heavyweight Mlungisi Ngcobo.

His taxi association was one of those at odds with Sonke.

“We would want to believe that Ngcobo’s killing is not related to the conflict we are trying to resolve, however, the timing of his death leaves room for speculation. We are calling for calm and peace,” said Mchunu.

Ngcobo was gunned down in a drive-by shooting after a meeting near Marburg on Wednesday night.

A car pulled alongside his and peppered his driver’s door with high-calibre rifle fire.

The Sunday Times reported recently that Gcaba was accused of leading a hostile takeover of routes.

Read more on:    willies mchunu  |  durban  |  taxi violence
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