'I fear something is going to happen' - wife of slain Cape Town taxi boss to husband before he was shot

2019-06-14 07:56
Celeste Consani had a foreboding that something terrible would happen to her husband. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)

Celeste Consani had a foreboding that something terrible would happen to her husband. (Kamva Somdyala, News24)

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"I knew something was going to happen to my husband because of the threats that we had received."

This is the fear Celeste Consani, wife of slain Blackheath-Malibu Taxi Association chairman Patrick Consani, kept sharing with her husband as taxi routes and permits caused years of disputes in the area.

Celeste says while she is mourning the loss of her husband – who was fatally shot on Tuesday morning while he was getting ready to do his daily transportation of school kids – she hopes that it will be the catalyst that puts an end to current taxi route permit disputes.

The Blackheath-Malibu area has been a hotbed of route invasions by illegal operators in the past, according to Celeste. Violence and clashes between taxi associations and operators have plagued the area.

Act of lawlessness

Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela says a meeting of taxi bosses in the province is high on his agenda.

He called the shooting an act of lawlessness which cannot be tolerated by the province.

"He had asked members of the association to allow the other members to join the routes, but they refused. He asked that they please work together, but the more members within his organisation refused, the more the threats came coming," Celeste tells News24 from her living room couch.

 
Bonginkosi Madikizela comforts Celeste Consani

Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela comforts Celeste Consani after her husband was killed. (Kamva Somdyala/News24)

"We sat on this very couch and I said to him I fear that something is going to happen."

Tuesday was a normal morning for the Consani family. Celeste recalls that she had bumped into her husband in the kitchen and remarked that he was potentially going to be late for work "because it was around 05:50".

She says she had noticed two men walking near where Patrick was shot but paid no attention to them. Patrick exited the house and headed for the bus where his young son was already inside waiting for them to go.

'I yelled at them to stop'

"He waved at me from outside and as I closed the fridge, I heard something loud outside," Celeste says.

 
The bullet hole in the minibus Patrick Consani was

The bullet hole in the minibus Patrick Consani was getting ready to travel in when he was fatally shot on Tuesday. (Kamva Somdyala/News24)

"I went outside and saw what was happening and saw the two men. I then ran towards one of the men, who then pointed the gun at me. I yelled at them to stop."

At this point the men fled the scene, leaving Celeste to attend to her husband who, at that moment, was laying on the ground, fatally wounded.

If it takes the death of her husband to make authorities realise they need to clean up animosity among taxi organisations over routes and permits, Celeste says it would bring her some comfort.

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk told News24 on Tuesday that a case of murder was being investigated.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  taxi violence  |  crime  |  transport
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